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AUGUST 1994 













OLE 2! 

Too bad 

addicted to 

you're so 
import cars. 

Demand Better. Eighty Eight LSS ByOclsmodlel 

For more information, call 1 -800-44 2-OLDS. 



AUGUST 1994 



Edited by Mike Hudnall 

Find the color printer that's 

right for you. 



By Clifton Karnes 

Open the door to Windows 4 

with the new OLE 2. 





How to get connected. 



By Tom Campbell 

The Norton Utilities 8.0 from 




By Clifton Karnes 

Spring COMDEX'S top ten. 



By Clifton Karnes 

Why image is everything in 




Edited by Robert Bixby 
Answers to tough questions. 



By Tony Roberts 

Track down and fix upper 

memory conflicts. 



By Tom Campbell 

Answers to frequently asked 




Edited by 
Richard C. Leinecker 
Tips from our readers. 

Cover photography by Mark Wagoner of Toshiba 4800 running 

Phoenix's CD Essentials, Toshiba CD-400A, Altec Lansing ACS300, 

and Microsoft Sound System microphone. 



By Mark Minasi 

Why are Pentium chips so 

much faster than 486 chips 

that operate at the same 

nominal speed? 



By Robert Bixby 

The information 

superhighway, bandwidth, 

and fiber-optic cable's 

effect on each. 



By Byron Poole 
Top computer news. 



By David English 

Free more memory for those 

hungry multimedia 




By David English 

Now you can have both 

sound and CD-ROM in a 

portable computer. 



Edited by Polly Cillpam 

Hot new hardware, cool new 




By Bob Lindstrom 
MusicTime 2.0 from 
Passport Designs. 



By Peter Scisco 
Fine Artist from Microsoft. 



By Peter Olafson 
Merit's Harvester. 



By Bob Lindstrom 
Myst from Br0derbund. 



By Denny Atkin 
Previews of upcoming titles. 



By Scott A. May 
Enlightening games. 



DataStor 486-66, 

Comanche CD, 

Compaq Presario 425, 

Kronolog: The Nazi 


WinSleuth Gold Plus, 

Home Medical Advisor Pro, 


Take a Break! Crosswords 


SubWar 2050, 

Peter Pan, 


Medical Matters for 


Metal & Lace: The Battle of 

the Robo Babes, 

and Canon IX-4015. 


See page 113. 

COMPUTE (ISSN 0194-357X) is published monthly in the U.S. and Canada by COMPUTE Publications International Ltd., 1965 Broadway, New York, NY 10023-5965 Volume 16, Number 
8, Issue 167 Copyright © 1994 by COMPUTE Publications International Ltd. All rights reserved. COMPUTE is a registered trademark of COMPUTE Publications International Ltd. Distributed 
worldwide (except in Australia and the U K.) by Curtis Circulation Company, P.O. Box 9102, Pennsauken, NJ 08109. Distributed in Australia by The Howtl2 Group, P.O. Box 306, Cammeray 
NSW 2062 Australia, and in the U K. by Seymour Press Ltd., Windsor House, 1270 London Rd., Norbury, London SW1642H England. Second-class postage paid at New York, NY, and at 
additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to COMPUTE Magazine, P.O. Box 3245, Harlan, IA 51537-3041. (800) 727-6937. Entire contents copyrighted. All rights 
reserved. Nothing may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission (ram the publisher Subscriptions: U.S. and AFO — $19.94 per year, Canada— $32 04 per year elsewhere— 
$29.94 per year. Single copies: U.S —$2.95 each. The publisher disclaims all responsibility to return unsolicited matter, and all rights m portions oublished thereof remain the sole property 
of COMPUTE Publications International Ltd. Letters sent to COMPUTE or its editors become the property of the magazine. Editorial offices are located at 324 W. Wendover Ave., Ste. 
200, Greensboro, NC 27408. (910) 275-9809. 

Printed in the U.S. by R. R. Donnelley & Sons Inc. #R126607415 





All the leaders of the gaming universe have joined 
forces. And now they're coming to get you. No 
other game experience can prepare you for what's 
waiting inside the new Game Blaster CD" 16 mul- 
timedia upgrade kit? You get a Sound Blaster" 1 
16-bit sound card and speakers that make all 
your games sound terrifyingly real. A double- 
speed CD-ROM, so all your games run 
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joystick, so you can 
hone your reflexes. 
Not to mention the 

most outrageous games in the cosmos — Rebel 
Assault and Sim City 2000 — and for the next six 
months, no other kits have them. But that's not 
all. Game Blaster also includes Return to Zork, 
Iron Helix, F-II7A Stealth Fighter, Silent Ser- 
vice II, Civilization, Railroad Tycoon, and Groliers 
Multimedia Encyclopedia. Of course, all your 
games will sound better because they're made to be 
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Circle Reader Service Number 125 

Editor Clifton Karnes 
Art Director Robin Case Mykytyn 


Managing Editor 

Features Editor 

Reviews Editor 

Gazette and Online Editor 

Entertainment Editor 

Senior Copy Editor 

Copy Editor 

Editorial Assistant 

Contributing Editors 

David English 

Robert Bixby 

Mike Hudnall 

Tom Netsel 

Jill Booth 

Karen Huffman 

Margaret Ramsey 

Polly Cillpam 

Denny Atkin, Sylvia Graharr 

Tony Roberts, Karen Siepak 

Assistant Art Director Kenneth A. Hardy 
Designer Katie Murdock 
Copy Production Manager Terry Cash 

Production Manager De Potter 

Traffic Manager Barbara A Williams 

Manager Troy Tucker 
Programmers Sherman Brown 
Steve Draper 
Bradley M. Small 


President and COO 

Executive Vice President, 


Vice President 

and Editorial Director 

Operations Manager 

Office Manager 

Sr. Administrative Assistant 


Kathy Keeton 
William Tynan 

Keith Ferrell 

David Hensley Jr. 
Sybil Agee 
Julia Fleming 
LeWanda Fox 


Vice President Peter T. Johnsmeyer 
and Associate Publisher (212) 496 6100 


Full-Page and Standard Display Ads: East Coast— Peter T Johns- 
meyer or Chris Coelno, COMPUTE Publications International, 1965 
Broadway, New York, NY 10023: (212) 496-6100. Southeast- 
Harriet Rogers, 503 A St. SE, Washington, DC 2C03; (202) 546- 
5926. Florida— Jay M. Remer Associates. 7040 W Palmetto Park 
Rd., Ste. 308. Boca Raton. FL 33433; (407) 391-0104. (407) 391- 
5074 (fax). Midwest-Starr Lane. 7 Maywood Dr , Danville, IL 
61832; (217) 443^1042, (217) 443-4043 (fax). Midwest Main Office- 
111 E. Wacker Dr., Ste. 508, Chicago. IL 60601; (312) 819-0900, 
(312) 819-0813 (fax). Detroit— Jim Chauvin, 200 E. Big Beaver Rd., 
Troy, Ml 48083; (313) 680-4610, (313) 524-2866 (fax). Northwest- 
Jerry Thompson (415-348-8222) or Lucille Dennis (707-451-8209), 
Jules E. Thompson Co.. 1290 Howard Ave., Ste. 303, Burlingame, 
CA 94010. Southwest and West— Howard Berman, 6728 Eton Ave., 
Canoga Park, CA 91303; (818) 992-4777. Product Mart Ads: Lu- 
cille Dennis. Jules E. Thompson Co., 1290 Howard Ave., Ste. 303, 
Burlingame. CA 94010; (707) 451-8209. Classified Ads: Maria 
Manaseri. 1 Woods Ct.. Huntington, NY 1 1743; (516) 757-9562 
(phone and fax). Sr. VP/Corp. Dir., New Business Development: Bev- 
erly Wardafe. VP/Uir., Group Advertising Sales: Nancy Kestenbaum, 
9709 Brimf;eld Cl. L Potomac. MD 20854; (301) 299-4677. (301) 299- 
4649 (fax). Sr. VP/Southern and Midwestern Advertising Dir.: Pe- 
ter Goldsmith. P.O. Box 1535, Mason Neck, VA 22199-1535; (703) 
339-1060, (703) 339-1063 (fax). Europe -Beverly Wardale, Flat 2, 
10 Stafford Terrace, London, England W87 BH; 011-471 1-937- 
1517. Japan— Jiro Semba, Intergroup Communications, 3F Tiger 
Bldg., 5-22 Shiba-koen, 3-Chome, Minato ku, Tokyo 105, Japan; 
03-434-2607, J25469IGLTYO (telex), 434-5970 (fax). Korea: Kaya 
Advertising, Rm. 402 Kunshin Annex B/D 251-1, Dohwa Dong, 
Mapo-Ku, Seoul, Korea (121); 719-6906, K32l44Kayaad (telex). 


Bob Guccione, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer 

Kathy Keeton, Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer 

William F, Marlieb, President/Marketing, Sales & Circulation 

Richard M, Cohen, Exec. V.P/Treasurer 

Patrick J. Gavin, Exec. V.P/Operations and Chief Financial Officer 

Frank DeVino, Exec. V.P/Graphics Director 

James B. Martise, Exec. V.P/Circulation 

Hal Halpner, V.P/Director of Manufacturing 

William Tynan, V.P/Technology & Information Services 

Catherine Simmons-Gill, V.P/General Counsel 


Sr. VP and CPO: Patrick J. Gavin; VP and Dir., Sales Promotions; 
Beverly Greiper; Dir, Newsstand Circulation: Maureen Sharkey; Dir., 
Newsstand Operations: Joe Ga!io; Dir., Subscription Circulation: 
Beatrice J. Hanks; VP and Dir.. Research: Robert Rattner; Adver- 
tising Production Dir.: Charlene Smith; Traffic Dir- William Harbutt; 
VP, Financial Operations: Jim Folio, VP, Budget and Finance: Tom 
Maley; Assoc. Counsel: Laurence B. Sutter; Production Mgr.: Tom 
Stinson; Asst. Production Mgr.: Nancy Rice; Mgr , International Div: 
George Rojas; National Marketing Dir: Anne M. Zink; Exec. Asst. 
to Bob Guccione: Diane OConnell; Spec. Asst to Bob Guccione. 
Jane Homlish. 


Clifton Karnes 

Spring COMDEX, held this past 
May in Atlanta, was the site for a 
tropical heat wave. Attendees 
tried to keep cool by wearing Ber- 
muda shorts and sipping mint juleps. 
I decided that the only way to fight 
the heat was to look for cool prod- 
ucts, so here is the fruit of my labor — 
an ice chest of the ten coolest prod- 
ucts I saw at this year's show. 

10. Microsoft may have created a 
monster with Access 2.0 (206-882- 
8080, $495). It's one of the few prod- 
ucts that have reached the elusive 
goal of all software: It's easy to use 
and powerful. And queries are 100 
times faster than version 1.1 's. 

9. If you think UPSs are boring, 
take a look at the SmartUPS 400 
from APC (800-800-4272, $399). 
When teamed with the company's 
PowerChute software, this power tool 
will protect your computer from surg- 
es, brownouts, and outages, and if 
the power goes out when you're 
away from your PC, PowerChute will 
close your files. 

8. If you think you have some artis- 
tic talent and just need the right ve- 
hicle to express it, Fractal Design's 
Dabbler (408-688-5300, $99) is the 
program you're looking for. It's de- 
signed to teach you how to paint 
with a computer, and its tools look 
like real-world paint media. 

7. PagePlus made my COMDEX 
list last year, and here it is again in a 
new version with new features, the 
same great easy-to-use interface, 
and the same amazingly low price — 
$60 (Serif, 603-889-8650). If you're in- 
to desktop publishing, take a look at 

6. U-Lead Systems was a winner 
last year with ImagePals. This year, 
the company is back with MediaStu- 
dio (310-523-9393, $349). This terrific 
toolkit includes all the excellent mod- 
ules in ImagePals 2, plus video, 
sound, and morph editing. 

5. Creating 3-D objects is all the 
rage these days, and the best 3-D pro- 
gram I saw at COMDEX was Cali- 
gari's trueSpace (415-390-9600, 
$795). This cool rendering program 
can create the most complex objects 
with just a few clicks and keystrokes. 

4. Blue Sky Software was on my 
list last year, and it's here again with 

MultiMedia WinHelp (619-459-6365, 
$199). MultiMedia WinHelp is a set of 
tools that make it easy for Windows 
Help authors to integrate video, 
sound, and other neat effects into reg- 
ular Windows Help documents. 

3. In third place there's a tie be- 
tween the Texas Instruments 4000M 
multimedia notebooks (800-848- 
3927) and IBM's Thinkpad 360 (914- 
766-1900). The top-of-the-line 4000M 
comes with a 75-MHz 486DX4 and a 
340MB hard disk in a striking new de- 
sign with a TrackPoint-like pointing de- 
vice and an integrated sound system 
($5,299). An optional CD-ROM drive 
makes the 4000M really sing. The 
Thinkpad 360 boasts rock-solid con- 
struction, a great keyboard, and 
IBM's innovative TrackPoint ($1,999). 

2. WinFax Pro 3.0 is a super pro- 

gram, but WinFax Pro 4.0 (Delrina, 
800-268-6082, $129) is even better. 
New features include folders with a 
drag-and-drop interface and the abili- 
ty to send binary data and E-mail. Su- 
per add-on services include Fax Mail- 
Box (like E-mail for faxes) and Fax 
Broadcast (which allows you to send 
multiple faxes at one time). 

1. At the top of my list this year is 
Sidekick for Windows from Simplify 
Software, a division of Borland (800- 
336-6464). Sidekick is a full-featured 
PIM with enough power to make the 
heavyweights tremble, and it's easy 
enough to use to make anyone who 
isn't already using a PIM want to 
jump on board. Sidekick has a great 
interface and an almost unbelievable 
price— $29.95. Wow! Buy one for 
each of your friends. D 



S|l Interactive 
tnc ydopedi a 

(The Biggest Interactive Encyclopedia on the Planet, Now Under *129.) 

It's pretty simple. Now you can get the WORLD'S #1 INTERACTIVE ENCYCLOPEDIA ON CD-ROM, THE ONE WITH 





A Tribune Publishing Company 

Get Your Copy Today At CompUSA, Egghead Software or Sam's Club. 

Available for MPC or Macintosh'. ©1994 Compton's NewMedia, Inc. Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia is a trademark of Compton's NewMedia, Inc. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. 


Clifton Karnes 

If you work 

with graphics, 

you need 

ImagePals 2. 



While you may not agree that 
image is everything, you'll cer- 
tainly admit that images are a 
crucial element in Windows. 
They're everywhere — in icons, 
cursors, wallpaper bitmaps, 
screen savers, Clipboard 
files, GIF files, PCX files, vid- 
eo clips, and on and on. 

The problem is managing 
these graphics. If you work 
with images much, you prob- 
ably have scores of these files 
scattered everywhere on your 
hard disk, with little or no or- 
ganization. To maintain and ma- 
nipulate these graphics effi- 
ciently, you really need help, 
and you won't find a better help- 
er than ImagePals 2 from U- 
Lead (310-523-9393, $129). 
ImagePals 2 is a single pack- 
age with everything you need 
to view, catalog, capture, trans- 
late, and manipulate graphics. 
It's configured as a suite of su- 
perbly crafted, highly integrat- 
ed tools that make working 
with graphics fun — the way it 
ought to be. 

ImagePals 2's core consists 
of four modules: Album, Image 
Editor, Viewer, and Screen 
Capture. Since Album is the 
control center of the suite, I'll 
start with it. Album lets you cat- 
alog your images, and it pre- 
sents the images as thumb- 
nails. There are two especially 
noteworthy things about Al- 
bum. The first is that it supports 
an amazing array of graphics 
formats, including some un- 
usual but useful ones, like 
icons (with ICO extensions) 
and cursors (with CUR exten- 
sions). The second is that it isn't 
limited to graphics. You can 
use Album to catalog video 
clips, WAV files, and MIDI files; 
and in the most general sense, 
you can place almost any kind 
of file on a thumbnail (like an 

HLP file). When you double- 
click on a thumbnail, Album 
runs the program associated 
with the file (you can set asso- 
ciations inside Album, which is 
very handy), and if there is no 
association, it runs its own 

Probably the best way to 
think about Album is as a vis- 
ual file manager. In it, you 
place thumbnails, organized 
in groups you choose. You 
can keep groups active so 
they're on the Album desktop, 
or you can move them to Al- 
bum's Bookshelf, where 
they're out of the way. One of 
Album's coolest features is its 
user-configurable button bar. 
You can place a program on 
this button bar and press the 
button to launch the program. 
But better than that, you can 
drag a thumbnail to a button 
to load a graphic (or WAV file 
or video clip) into the applica- 
tion. This feature really lets you 
customize Album to work the 
way you want it to. 

After Album, the most impor- 
tant element of ImagePals 2 is 
Image Editor. This program 
lets you manipulate your imag- 
es by changing colors, cutting 
and pasting, cropping, and ap- 
plying special effects. 

Specialized tools like Mag- 
ic Wand, which selects similar 
colors throughout a picture, 
and Magic Lamp, which al- 
lows you to apply effects like 
blur, sharpen, darken, lighten, 
and smudge selectively to a 
small part of an image, make 
this editor powerful, flexible, 
and easy to use. 

In addition to the small- 
scale effects you can create 
with Magic Lamp, Image Edi- 
tor's Effects menu lets you 
blur, sharpen, despeckle, em- 
phasize edges, find edges, 
and adjust for NTSC, as well 
as apply several very unusual 
effects with descriptive 
names like average, blast, 
cool, emboss, facet, fat/thin, 
fish eye, mosaic, stagger, tile, 

warm, watercolor, and windy. 

If you're interested in conver- 
sion, Image Editor can handle 
almost anything. You can 
move from formats that in- 
clude BMP, CLP, EPS, IFF, 
TGA, TIF, and WMF. And con- 
version is fast! 

Viewer is an important ele- 
ment of ImagePals 2, and 
you'll find yourself using it of- 
ten. It works a lot like other view- 
ers, but it has several very 
nice features. First, it's a drop 
destination, so you can drag 
graphics files to it from File 
Manager and Album. And in- 
stead of replacing the image 
in the window you drag to, 
Viewer opens a new window, 
which is a great feature. 
There are several items on 
Viewer's Control menu that 
make it easy to do things like 
close, restore, and tile all View- 
er windows. 

Viewer also has two neat but- 
tons on its status bar. The first 
button lists all the active View- 
er windows. The second lets 
you drag the contents of View- 
er to any drop target, like Im- 
age Editor. 

My favorite part of this en- 
semble is Screen Capture. 
While capturing screens in Win- 
dows can be easy (you just 
press Print Screen to capture 
the whole desktop or Alt-Print 
Screen to capture the active 
window), if your requirements 
go beyond this, you'll need 
help. ImagePals 2's Screen 
Capture will give you all the 
help you need and more. It's 
an MDI application that keeps 
each capture in its own docu- 
ment window. You can cap- 
ture the cursor or leave it out, 
and you can grab any area of 
the screen you wish. Screen 
Capture even lets you change 
your windows' colors from in- 
side the program and crop cap- 
tured images. 

That's a short introduction 
to ImagePals 2. If you work 
with graphics, you need it. O 


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Edited by Robert Bixby 

Scanning the 

keys, capturing the 


line, and changing 


opening screen 


Is it possible (in QuickBASIC) 
to scan for the Alt, Shift, or 
Ctrl key while no other key is 
being pressed? 


Sure. You can do it a couple 
of different ways. Here's a pro- 
gram example that uses BA- 
SIC'S KEY function to do it. 

KEY 15, CHR$(&H0) + 


ON KEY(15) GOSUB rightshift 
KEY(15) ON 
KEY 16, CHR$(&H0) + 


ON KEY(16) GOSUB leftalt 
KEY(16) ON 
KEY 17, CHR$(&H0) + 


ON KEY(17) GOSUB leftshift 
KEY(17) ON 
KEY 18, CHR$(&H0) + 


ON KEY(18) GOSUB leftctrl 
KEY(18) ON 


a$ = INKEY$ 

IF a$ = "q" THEN END 

GOTO looper 


PRINT "The left Shift" 



PRINT "The right Shift" 



PRINT "The left Alt" 



PRINT "The left Ctrl" 


As you have probably sur- 
mised, you can't detect the 
right Ctrl or Alt key this way. 
(If you know of a way to do 
so, please let us know.) The 
scan codes for these keys 
are &H62 for the right Alt 
key and &H63 for the right 
Ctrl key (Try them using 
the pattern in the above 
example, it's possible that 

QuickBASIC has been upgrad- 
ed since our version.) 

The other way to detect 
them is to peek memory loca- 
tions 1047 and 1048 where 
these keys are registered in 
memory. Here's a little pro- 
gram that will show you the val- 
ues of these locations. 




PRINT PEEK(1047), PEEK(1048) 



// you run this program and 
press the various modifier 
keys, you will see that they 
generate the following values 
in these two locations. 


Left Ctrl 
Left Alt 
Left Shift 
Right Ctrl 
Right Alt 
Right Shift 

1047 1048 




You could use this in a pro- 
gram as follows. 


IF(PEEK(1047)AND7) = 4and 
PEEK(1048) = 1 THEN 



The reason for the AND in 
line 3 is that the Insert key tog- 
gles the seventh bit of this 
memory location and other 
keys toggle other bits. You 
can also use these programs 
to sense other keys: Caps 
Lock, Num Lock, Scroll Lock, 
and insert. 

Commanding Presence 

I like programming in BASIC, 
but there are a couple of 

things I haven't figured out 
yet. How do you allow for par- 
ameters when loading a file? 
And how do you make a pro- 
gram memory resident? 


COMMANDS is the keyword 
used in compilable BASICs to 
get information from the com- 
mand line. For example, if you 
create a BASIC program 
called HELLO.BAS and then 
compile it as HELLO.EXE, you 
could include as its first line 


and then run the program by 
typing hello Stephen. The pro- 
gram would print Stephen. 
You could use the contents of 
A$ throughout the program 
as if you had defined the var- 
iable within the program. 
Since you can't enter a com- 
mand line argument while 
working within the BASIC en- 
vironment (while writing the 
program), QuickBASIC has 
an option on the Run menu 
called Modify COMMANDS. 

Selecting this option allows 
you to enter an argument in a 
dialog box as if it had been 
entered from the command 
line. While you run the pro- 
gram within the environment, 
it will take the contents 
of COMMANDS from this dia- 
log box. 

PowerBASIC 3.0 is said to 
have a way to make compiled 
BASIC programs memory res- 
ident, but as we haven't seen 
this language, we're unable 
to verify this. 

New Opening Screen 

I would like to know how to 
change the picture that Win- 
dows puts on your screen 
when it first starts. 


it's very simple, but there are 
a lot of steps. (This is excerpt- 


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Circle Reader Service Number 112 


Moving screen 


and downloading 


ed from Clifton Karnes's book 
101 Essential Windows TipsJ 
First, you must draw your open- 
ing screen. Start up Windows 
and start up Paintbrush. Pull 
down the Options menu and 
select Image Attributes. In the 
Image Attributes dialog box, 
select Pels in the Units sec- 
tion and type 640 into the 
Width text box and 480 into 
the Height text box. Click on 
OK. Draw your opening 
screen using the tools in 

One problem with Paint- 
brush is that you can't see the 
whole 640 x 480 image un- 
less you zoom out and you 
can't draw when you're 
zoomed out. Draw an image 
as large as you want — even 
larger than the current 
screen, by scrolling. Then 
zoom out and use the rectan- 
gular selection tool to move 
the image to the center of the 
drawing area (this isn't neces- 
sary but it gives your work a 
finished look). Limit the num- 
ber of colors and the amount 
of color you use. 

When your drawing is fin- 
ished, save it as a 16-color 
BMP file. 

Next, you must convert 
your BMP file to an RLE file. 
Use a commercial graphics 
conversion utility or download 
Wing if from your favorite on- 
line service (it's available on 
AOL). We'll assume that 
you're using Wingif. 

Load your painting into 
Wingif; then select Save from 
the File menu. In the Save di- 
alog box, click on the button 
marked Format. Select RLE 4 
and save the file. For the pur- 
poses of our example, let's 
say that you save it as 

Now you must close down 
Windows and return to DOS. 
Log to the WINDOWS direc- 
tory and change the name of 
log to the \WINDOWS\SYS- 
TEM directory and at the com- 

mand line type copy /b 
win.cnf+vgalogo.lgo+ . Awin- 
thing.rle . Note: 
There should be a space be- 
tween . .\winthing.rle and 
. .\ 

Type win to see if Windows 
will start. You should see the 
painting you just created as 
the opening screen. 

If Windows refuses to start, 
it probably means that you 
used too much color. Copy 
your _IN.COM file to 
WIN.COM, restart Windows, re- 
do your painting, convert it to 
an RLE file, and redo the 
copy procedure as described 
in the paragraph above. Con- 
tinue the process until you cre- 
ate a WIN.COM file that 

Warning: Never lose your 
original WIN.COM file, or 
you'll be sunk if there's a prob- 
lem with the one you create. 

A Better Sprite 

I read with interest the re- 
sponse in the March "Feed- 
back" about moving an ob- 
ject on the screen without de- 
stroying the background. I 
have another method that cap- 
tures the background first 
and then moves the object in- 
to the foreground with the 
DRAW command. 

DIM A(500) 
h = 150: v = 150 



GET(h, v)-(h + 20, v + 20), A 
DRAW"bm1,1 br=" + 

VARPTR$(h) + "bd= M + 

VARPTR$(v) + "c14r18g6f6g6 

z$ = INKEY$ 

IF z$ = "" THEN GOTO control 
PUT (h, v), A, PSET 
IF z$ = "i"THEN v = v-3:G0T0 

IF z$ = lt j" THEN h = h-4:G0T0 


IFz$ = "k"THEN h = h + 4:G0T0 

IFz$ = "m" THEN v = v + 3: GOTO 

GOTO moveit 

IF h < THEN h = 
IF h > 400 THEN h = 400 
IF v < THEN v = 
IF v > 400 THEN v = 400 
GOTO moveit 



Remember that "Feedback" 
is available in the COMPUTE 
area of America Online with 
additional programs too large 
to fit in the magazine. 

This month, the online pro- 
gram is weaselBASE, a sim- 
ple database that you can 
use to enter and keep track 
of information and merge 
form letters. The program 
brings new meaning to the 
words quick and dirty. Yet 
weaselBASE will probably do 
90 percent of what 90 per- 
cent of database users need. 
It makes data entry simple, it 
will sort any field, it will 
merge two databases (provid- 
ed that they have the same 
fields in the same order), it 
will merge a printing, and it 
will respond to a simple que- 
ry. Plus, since it's in QBASIC 
format, you can customize it 
at will. 


Do you have a question 
about hardware or software? 
Or have you discovered some- 
thing that could help other PC 
users? If so, we want to hear 
from you. Write to "Feed- 
back" in care of this maga- 
zine. Readers whose letters ap- 
pear in "Feedback" will re- 
ceive a free COMPUTE base- 
ball cap while supplies last. 
We regret that we can't pro- 
vide personal replies to techni- 
cal questions. O 



Award of Merit Winner 


1994 Multimedia Awards 

Award Winner 
Game Bytes Magazine 

"Jutland provides an object lesson in 
what CD ROM sims can achieve J' 

- PC Entertainment 

"Jutland is an impressive game. . . . 
another of my top ten games of the year!" 
- Computer Game Review 


Command The Most 
Powerful Warships of WWI 

Test your knowledge of tactics, skill 
at seamanship, and daring in battle 
as you fight either the German 
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naval battles, the Battle of Jutland. 

With 100-plus missions and battles, 
Jutland provides hours of game play 
with no two identical outcomes. 
Historical realism brings the drama, 
action, and excitement of real-time 
naval combat to life. Stunning 3D 
and rendered SVGA and VGA 
graphics, digitized audio and video, 
realistic sound effects, and cinematic 
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State-of-the-Art', and 'JUTLAND', are trademarks of Software Sorcery. 

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Where Magic is State-of-the-Art! 

5405 Morehouse Drive, Suite 200 
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Tony Roberts 

Upper memory 

conflicts can 

be eliminated, if 

you approach 

the problem 



Upper memory is a 384K area 
of RAM that lies just beyond 
the first 640K in your machine. 
Back in the old days, this area 
was reserved. Video adapters 
were allowed to use that 
space, and the system was al- 
lowed to copy parts of its ROM 
to that area. This arrangement 
provided a boost in system 
performance because RAM is 
generally faster than -ROM. Be- 
cause the system and video 
programs are so frequently ac- 
cessed, it makes sense to put 
them where they can be 
found most readily. 

As it turns out, though, not 
all of the 384K upper memory 
area is used by the system. 
There are areas of free space 
in that 384K known as upper 
memory blocks. With the right 
hardware and software (a 386 
or higher running DOS 5 or 
higher), you can use some of 
the extra space for DOS, your 
favorite TSR programs, or 
your network software. 

Most of today's computers 
are set up to take advantage 
of the extra space in high mem- 
ory. The result is a less 
cramped conventional memo- 
ry area, which makes it easier 
to run large DOS applications 
and to make use of more TSR 
programs. If your system is set 
up this way, you'll see com- 
mands such as DEVICE=HI- 
and DOS=HIGH in your CON- 
FIG.SYS file. 

The HIMEM.SYS line pro- 
vides access to the upper 
memory blocks and to other ex- 
tended memory. DOS=UMB 
tells DOS that it should be 
aware of the presence of up- 
per memory blocks, and 
DOS=HIGH tells DOS to load 
some of itself into those upper 
memory blocks. Finally, the 
EMM386 line activates the DE- 

commands with which you in- 
struct your device drivers and 
TSRs to load themselves into 
upper memory if possible. The 
NOEMS parameter indicates 
that you're using only extend- 
ed memory and not expanded 
memory. If you have applica- 
tions that require expanded 
memory, that parameter 
should be omitted. 

The upper memory area is 
partially used by your sys- 
tem's hardware. Usually, your 
system is able to figure out 
what is in use. Sometimes, how- 
ever, it decides that a certain 
area is unused and makes it 
available as an upper memo- 
ry block when, in fact, some 
hardware is counting on ac- 
cess to that memory. 

This is the dreaded upper 
memory conflict, and it results 
in erratic system behavior, 
crashes, reboots, and GPFs if 
you're using Windows. At this 
point, you must figure out 
where the conflict is occurring 
and eliminate it. 

First, perform a clean boot 
of your computer. To do this in 
DOS 6 and above, reboot and 
press F5 when the Starting MS- 
DOS message appears. Next, 
run the Microsoft Diagnostic 
utility by entering msd at the 
command prompt. 

MSD provides detailed tech- 
nical information about your 
computer and its setup. If you 
explore the options, you'll 
learn a lot about your comput- 
er. But right now, press M. The 
screen that appears shows 
you a map of your system's up- 
per memory area. 

There's a legend at the top 
of the screen that explains the 
codes in the memory map. 
Scroll through the map and 
find any areas marked as 
ROM or RAM, and make a 
note of the starting and end- 
ing addresses of those areas. 

Next, exit the MSD utility, 
open CONFIG.SYS, and edit 
the EMM386 line to exclude 

those areas that you identified 
as being in use. Here's an ex- 
ample: DEVICE = EMM386- 

Save the CONFIG.SYS and 
restart the computer, and the 
conflict should be resolved. If 
not, your system may include 
hardware that MSD is unable 
to identify. This is the case 
with the scanner on my sys- 
tem. MSD identified the range 
of memory from D000 to D3FF 
as possibly available, but as it 
turned out, that's the memory 
the scanner uses. So adding 
an X=D000-D3FF exclusion to 
the EMM386 line in CON- 
FIG.SYS solved the problem. 

If the memory conflict still ex- 
ists and your hardware docu- 
mentation provides no clue as 
to what range of memory it 
might be using, you can go 
through a troubleshooting pro- 
cedure to narrow down where 
it might be occurring. 

First, edit the EMM386 line 
to exclude the whole upper 
memory range: X=A000-F7FF. 
If that solves the problem, 
shrink the range by specifying 
X=C000-F7FF. If the problem 
recurs, it follows that the con- 
flict exists in the A000-BFFF 
range. Test this theory by spec- 
ifying X=A000-BFFF and re- 
booting. If the memory conflict 
is gone, you can start narrow- 
ing the excluded range to 
A000-AFFF or B000-BFFF to fur- 
ther isolate the affected area. 

Keep narrowing the exclud- 
ed range until you find the 
smallest possible area to ex- 
clude that still permits your 
computer to operate properly. 
Once you've done this, you'll 
have resolved your upper mem- 
ory conflict, and you'll have pre- 
served the most possible mem- 
ory for your applications. 

Before going through all of 
this experimentation, though, 
be sure to make backup cop- 
ies of your system files so 
you'll be able to return to your 
starting point if necessary. □ 



Ripper Surfing 


Kayaking >\ 




Ripper Surfing 

Extreme Skiing 

Nuclear Windsurfing 

Gnarly Climbing 

Severe Mr Biking 

White Water Kayaking 

Intense Skateboarding 

Radical Skydiving 

Bitcfiin' Bungee 



WARNING: Engaging in (he sports shown in this 

program is dangerous and could result in injury or death. 

Maniac Sports is intended for your entertainment only. 

We will not be responsible for any injuries or damages 

resulting from your engaging in the actual sports 

depicted in Maniac Sports. 

Vheck your heart rate, check your blood pressure, then 
proceed with caution. Maniac Sports 1 " is an adrenaline- 
filled, interactive adventure that lets you experience nine 
of the most extreme, most 
dangerous and most radical 
sports on the planet. 


humb your nose at gravity. 
Plummet toward the earth in 
free-fall. Explore the extreme 
risks looking over a thousand 
foot cliff. Then experience the thrills by "gearing up" 
without ever leaving the comfort and safety of home. 


laniac Sports is set to cutting edge music, is easy to use 
and feels more like an amusement park ride than a home 
computer game. 

|his is as good as it gets. 

■■HHMBW media- 

The Software Totilwo/ki' 


For Macintosh" CD-ROM & 
IBM* PC CD-ROM & Compatibles 

For the store nearest you or to buy, call 


Circle Reader Service Number 141 

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i Hade mark « 


Edited by Mike Hudnall 
Reviews by William Harrel 

Color printers cost much less 
now than just a few months 
ago. In fact, some color print- 
ers are less expensive than 
entry-level monochrome lasers. If 
you shop around, you can find a 
printer that can do color for less 
than $500. 

So, you ask, why on earth 
wouldn't you buy a color printer? 
Well, there are several issues to 
consider. First (and, for some 
applications, most critical), no 
matter which type of color printer 
you buy, you'll take a tremendous 
performance hit. The fastest print- 
er reviewed here is capable of on- 
ly two pages per minute— and 
that's generating black-and-white 
text! By contrast, even 
the slowest monochrome 
laser printers churn out 
pages of text at the rate 
of four pages per minute. 
Another important 
consideration is print 
quality. While some of 
these printers provide 
resolutions of 300 x 360 
dots per inch (the Tek- 
tronix and the Hewlett- 
Packard DeskJet 560C 
and 1200C/PS print at 
600 x 300 dpi), the differ- 
ent technologies re- 
quired to produce color 
are not capable of printing text as 
well as lasers can. Although you 
may not notice until you look very 
closely, your text won't print as 
crisply and clearly on color print- 
ers, which also don't produce half- 
tone and gray-scale images as 
well as lasers. 

Color printers can also be 
expensive to use. Laser printers 
typically print at a per-page cost 
of about $0.01 or $0.02. Some of 
the inkjet printers reviewed here, 
such as the HP 560C and the Can- 
on, can match that price for black- 
and-white text, but most of these 
printers have a per-page cost 
well beyond that of lasers. At the 
extreme end, the FARGO printing 



in dye sublimation mode costs 
$2.79 per page. 

But hey, you need color, right? 
And if you do presentations or cre- 
ate documents with lots of graph- 
ics, especially charts and graphs, 
the impact of your work will be 
greatly improved with color. So if 
you don't print high volume or a lot 
of strictly text documents, one of 
these color printers might be right 
for you. If you do print a lot of color 
documents or need heavy text 
capabilities, you might consider 
owning two printers. 

What Kind of Color Printer Do 
You Need? 

OK, so you've decided you need 
color. You have several other 
issues to address, the two most 
important being price and the 

type of color printing your appli- 
cation calls for. Will you be print- 
ing on paper or transparencies? 
Do you need a proof printer for 
desktop publishing? Typically, the 
application determines the price. 
But not always. Things have 
changed over the past year. 

The printers in this review 
range from $500 to $3,000 (you 
can pay a lot more, but the cutoff 
point for this review is a street 
price of $3,000). Until this year, 
the kind of technology a printer 
used determined its price. At one 
time, you'd pay thousands of dol- 
lars for a high-end proof printer, 
such as a thermal wax printer or 
dye sublimation printer. For trans- 

parencies and color runs, such 
as newsletters and fliers, you'd 
use an inexpensive inkjet. Recent 
releases of high-end technolo- 
gies in low price ranges as well 
as formerly low-end technologies 
with newly enhanced capabilities 
have muddied this distinction. 

FARGO's printer brings ther- 
mal wax technology to the desk- 
top for less than $1,000. On the 
other hand, typically inexpensive 
inkjet technology has moved into 
the higher-end market in printers 
such as the IBM and the HP 
1200C/PS. Each lists upwards of 
$2,500. When you contrast these 
more expensive inkjet printers 
with the Canon and the HP 560C, 
each of which costs something un- 
der $600 on the street, you can 
see the necessity of understand- 
ing what kind of technol- 
ogy you need and what 
features you should 
and shouldn't pay for. 

Inkjet Printers 

Typically, inkjet printers 
have been the color 
printers of choice for 
the average desktop. 
They're relatively inex- 
pensive. Supplies (ink 
cartridges) won't send 
you to the poorhouse, 
and inkjets generally 
print reasonably well on 
plain paper and trans- 
parencies. The technology 
works by spraying droplets of cy- 
an, magenta, yellow, and (some- 
times) black ink from ultrafine noz- 
zles. This kind of printer is ideal 
for an office on a tight budget 
that produces a few presenta- 
tions a year and wants occasion- 
al splashes of color in mostly text 

Four inkjet printers are reviewed 
here: the IBM, the HP 560C and 
1200C/PS, and the Canon. 

Thermal Wax Printers 

Thermal wax technology employs 
a very large ribbon coated with 
page-size panels of cyan, magen- 
ta, yellow, and (sometimes) 

black wax. The ribbon passes 
over a tightly focused heat 
source, causing the wax to melt 
onto the paper. A thermal wax 
printer is ideal for an office that 
does a lot of presentations and 
handouts. Thermal wax delivers 
bold colors and reasonable quali- 
ty. However, thermal wax printers 
are typically more expensive to 
use than inkjets. The FARGO, for 
example, costs about $0.45 per 
page to run, compared to the HP 
560C's $0.02. Adding to the ex- 
pense is the need for special 
paper. While many thermal wax 
printers can use plain paper, 
you'll get much better results on 
a glossy coated stock created 
especially for the wax transfer 

Two of the printers reviewed, 
the Tektronix and the FARGO, 
use the thermal wax process. An- 
other two, the Citizen and the 
Star Micronics, use a similar print- 
ing process called thermal trans- 
fer. The difference lies in the type 
of ribbon used. Instead of full- 
page panels of wax, the ribbon 
contains all four colors on a con- 
tinuous strip. The heat mecha- 
nism runs over the ribbon as the 
pins in a dot-matrix printer do, 
printing one thin band at a time. 

Dye Sublimation Printers 

Dye sublimation (often shortened 
to dye-sub) printers employ a 
printing technology similar to 
that of thermal wax printers. The 
differences are a specially coat- 
ed paper and a ribbon coated 
with dye, rather than wax. Anoth- 

Canon BJC-600 
Suggested retail price: $719 
Estimated street price: less man 
Warranty: two years 


2995 Redhitl Ave, 
Costa Mesa, CA 92626 
(809) 8484123 
(714) 438-3900 

Pros: small, lightweight design; 

good lext output; reasonable price; 

inexpensive operation 
Cons: paper delivered onto desktop* 

requiring a larger surface area 

er major difference is that the 
heat source is capable of precise 
temperature variations, allowing 
for nearly perfect color reproduc- 
tion. (Another name for dye-sub 
technology is photorealistic.) The 
typical users of this type of print- 
er are desktop publishers and art- 
ists who use photographs. 

Most dye-subs cost well be- 
yond this review's cutoff point of 
$3,000. However, FARGO offers 
an upgrade that turns its printer 
into a dye sublimation printer. 
Remarkably, the upgrade costs 
less than $250, providing, with 
the original cost of the printer, pho- 
torealistic quality for under 

Other Color Technologies 

There are two other types of col- 
or printers available: laser and sol- 
id-ink. Color laser printers work as 
black-and-white lasers do. Solid- 
ink printers use pellets or sticks 
of crayonlike wax. Solid-ink print- 
ers print on almost anything and 
are great for people who design 
product packages. Both technol- 
ogies are expensive. I couldn't 
find any of either type that cost 
less than $3,000. 

If you're ready to add some col- 
or to your printing, read on. This 
month's Test Lab has reviews, 
samples, facts, and figures to 
help you with your choice. 



Canon calls its inkjet printer a Bub- 
ble Jet. This compact, lightweight 
printer (less than ten pounds) is 
a breeze to set up and use, and 
the 360- x 360-dpi print quality is 
remarkable. The printer comes 
with a comprehensive online 
user's guide, complete with full- 
color pictures and clear step-by- 
step instructions. 

One of the few things I don't 
like about this printer is the way 
it delivers its printed pages. It 
feeds the output pages onto the 
desktop, which defeats the pur- 
pose of the printer's being so 
small. You need at least another 
8V?. x 11 inches in front of the 
machine to catch the final print- 
ed pages. Another drawback of 
this paper-delivery design is that 
your pages stack in reverse 
order; this is not a problem in print- 
ers that deliver the pages face- 
down. If you print many long doc- 
uments, the reverse-order output 
can be a nuisance. But then, this 
printer is not designed for high- 
volume, long-document printing, 
and if I needed an occasional doc- 
ument containing color, I 
wouldn't let this output design 
deter me from buying a BJC-600. 

Two other small problems I had 
with this printer were slow ink-dry- 
ing times on coated paper and an 
atypically slow printer driver. 
While the BJC-600 turns out much 
better print quality on special coat- 
ed paper designed for inkjet print- 
ers, you have to be careful not to 
pick up or move your pages too 
soon, or you can smear the ink. 
But smearing ink is a problem com- 
mon to all inkjets. 

The BJC-600 performed very 
well on the print tests. Text at var- 
ious point sizes and typeface 
styles printed relatively crisply 
and clearly, even on plain paper, 
where ink absorption can greatly 
affect quality. On the PowerPoint 
transparency test, the BJC-600 
performed a little slowly, but the 
results were well worth waiting 
for. The gradients in the back- 



ground, behind the words and 
graphics, didn't contain any no- 
ticeable banding, and the colors 
were bold and surprisingly close 
to those on my color-calibrated 
desktop publishing monitor. 

What really surprised me, 
though, was how well this printer 
reproduced some of the color pho- 
tographs. Typically, inkjets don't 
do well with gray-scale and con- 
tinuous-tone color photographs. 
Considering that the BJC-600 is 
an inkjet (you can't expect any- 
thing close to dye sublimation 
quality), it did quite well (see the 
sidebar "Photoshop Output Sam- 
ples"). Colors are reasonably 
crisp, and the photograph details 
are discernible, which is about all 
you can ask of a printer in this 
price range. 

While Canon claims the printer 
itself prints at 170 characters per 
second in high-quality mode, it 
takes a long time for the printer 
driver to rasterize (process) the 
data and send it to the printer — 
up to two or three times longer 
than with the other printers 
reviewed here. I encountered 
this sluggishness whether print- 
ing color graphics or mono- 
chrome text. In fact, the first time 
I printed from Word, it took so 
long for the data light on the print- 
er to begin flashing that I thought 
the computer had crashed. 

The BJC-600's drawbacks are 
minor and do little to take away 
from its overall quality and value. 
It's hard to beat this printer for 

Circle Reader Service Number 371 


Citizen Notebook Printer II 
Suggested retail price: $399 
Estimated street price: $329 
Warranty: two years 

2450 Broadway, Ste. 600 
Santa Monica, C A 90411-4003 

Pros: small, lightweight, portable 
design; many options; seed text 
output; low cost inexpensive 

Cons: color Quality foals lacking 
compared to output from other 
printers in tills review but good 
considering this is a portable 


Of all the printers in this month's 
roundup, the Citizen Notebook Print- 
er II is the only true portable. If I 
couldn't find anything else nice to 
say about this printer, I'd have to 
admit that it's truly a remarkable tes- 
timonial to technology. It weighs in 
at under three pounds, and that in- 
cludes the battery pack! It's about 
four inches wide and less than a 
foot long — small enough to fit neat- 
ly into a briefcase or the carrying 
case for your notebook computer, 
And you get it all for less than $400 
(except the battery, sold separate- 
ly for $69). 

In addition to your small initial 
investment, you'll find that using 
the printer is inexpensive also. 
Black ribbons, which print up to 
50 pages, are $4.99, and color rib- 
bons are $6.99. The yield you'll 
get from the color cartridges is 
considerably less and depends, 
of course, on what you print. 

The sheet feeder holds up to 5 
pages, but Citizen offers a 30- 
page sheet feeder for $69. If you 
plan to use the printer on your desk- 
top, you should opt for the larger 
sheet feeder. The Notebook Print- 
er H's built-in page feeder is a little 
temperamental. It took me a while 
to get the hang of inserting the 


Usually, a primary printer-testing 
concern (other than print quality) is 
speed. Color printers are by nature 
slow I did, however, note during 
the tests if a printer is atypically 
slow. Instead of concentrating on 
speed, the tests were designed to 
show print quality, primarily color 
and ciarity. Other major concerns 
in this review are value and the ap- 
propriateness of a printer for spe- 
cific applications, such as how 
well it fits into tight spaces. 

To test how well each printer pro- 
duces text, I printed a five-page 
Word tor Windows document con- 
taining several different fonts in var- 
ious point sizes. To test how well 
each printer performs on transpar- 
encies. I used a PowerPoint pres- 
entation containing several charts 
and graphs and multiple colors. 
To test how well each prints pho- 
tographs, I printed several Pho- 
toshop images. 

You can assess for yourself 
how well each printer performs by 
comparing the results of one of the 
tests (see the sidebar "Photoshop 
Output Samples"). 

paper just right, and even then it 
required some babysitting. 

The Notebook Printer II uses a 
thermal transfer process and 
prints at 360 x 360 dpi. It did 
quite well on the text tests. The 
results were slightly better on coat- 
ed paper. The plain-paper pag- 
es showed some slight blotch- 
iness in large black letters. Frank- 
ly, the PowerPoint overheads 
were a little too sophisticated for 
this printer. It didn't do well on the 
gradient backgrounds. However, 
I did some tests using solid col- 
ors and was quite pleased with 
the results. If you're on the road 
and need to print a few transpar- 
encies quickly, this printer will 
serve you well, as long as you 
don't try to get too fancy. 

As for printing photo- 
graphs . . . well, if you plan to 
print photographs, this isn't the 
printer for you. Keep in mind that 
the primary application for this 
printer is to tote along with your 


Below are examples of output magnified 400%. When comparing them to the original, look not only at the quality of 
the photograph but also at how well colors match. Depending on your application, color matching is often more critical 
than reproduction of photographs. Keep \r\ mind, however, that some of these printers are not intended for photo- 
graphic reproduction. The examples are offered to give you some sense of resolution capabilities. 



.T # » * » * T T J- 


Canon 8J&6QQ 


Citizen Notebook Printer I! 

FARGO Primer a (with dye sub.) 

HP DeskJet 560C 

HP Deskjet 1200C 

IBM Coior Jetprinter PS 4079 

Star Micronics SJ- U4 

Tektronix Phaser 220e 



notebook computer. It's really not 
practical to try to work with pho- 
tographs on most notebook com- 
puters, anyway. 

You can use this as a desktop 
printer, especially if your work- 
space is very limited. However, 
you should consider doing so on- 
ly if your printing volume is very 
small — say, a few pages a day. 
And if your primary output is col- 
or, especially full-page color trans- 
parencies, you'll probably find 
the Notebook Printer II to be too 
slow. Citizen recommends an out- 
put ratio of 90 percent black to 10 
percent color, which sounds 
about right. You should consider 
this printer as a color-is-there-if- 
you-need-it solution. 

But hey, if you need a good note- 
book printer to whip out docu- 
ments or print out faxes in your ho- 
tel room or car (a cigarette-lighter 
adapter is available for $49), I can 
recommend this one. In fact, I'm 
considering adding it to my road- 
warrior arsenal. What's another 2.6 
pounds, anyway? 

Circle Reader Service Number 372 


Of the eight printers reviewed 
here, the Primera is the most 
interesting and provides one of 
the more exciting options. This 
compact desktop printer pro- 
vides thermal wax technology for 
less than $1,000 and photoreal- 
istic dye sublimation printing for 
less than $1 ,250. While this print- 
er is not practical for high-volume 
color operations or desktop pub- 
lishing settings where you need 
to proof large 24-bit photo- 
graphs, it does provide good- 
quality color on a budget. 

Out of the box, the Primera is 
a thermal wax printer. To get dye- 
sub, you have to spend another 
$249.95 for a special ribbon, 
paper, and a Windows driver up- 
grade. At 203 dpi, the printer's 
maximum resolution, the thermal 
wax quality is mediocre. Colors 
are great, but the low resolution 
makes output grainy and jagged. 


FARGO Primera 

Suggested retail price: $995.00 

($249.95 for dye-sub option) 
Estimated street priGe: less ttian 

Warranty: one year 

7901 Flying Cloud Dr. 
Eden Prairie, IYIN 55344 
(800) 258-2974 

Pros: inexpensive thermal wax and 
dye sublimation output good 
color, compact design 

Cons: low resolution, low speed, 
dependence on computers RAM 

This printer is not really practical 
for printing text; the quality is not 
acceptable. However, FARGO 
does offer a black ribbon for text 
printing, so you could use the print- 
er for that if you needed to. 

The real story behind this print- 
er is the dye-sub upgrade. Like 
magic, when you change the rib- 
bon and paper, and then choose 
Photo-Realistic from the Windows 
driver, this printer is transformed in- 
to a high-quality color-proofing print- 
er. The Primera's dye-sub output 
is nearly perfect (see the sidebar 
"Photoshop Output Samples"). 

However, photorealistic output 
comes at a price. Cost per page 
jumps from $0.45 to $2.79. And 
the printer slows to a crawl. Also, 
you need to be aware of the way 
the printer driver rasterizes imag- 
es. The Primera really has no built- 
in processor. Image processing 
is performed in your computer's 
RAM, which means you'll need a 
good complement of memory in 
your computer to print big photo- 
graphs. I have 16MB in my Penti- 
um computer, and some of the 
large test photographs (over 
8MB) locked up the system. For 
some reason, the printer didn't 
make good use of the 50MB vir- 
tual-memory swap file. 

While FARGO claims that the 
Primera prints on plain paper, it 
doesn't really do so with the same 

finesse as the other thermal wax 
printer reviewed here. As with 
most other thermal wax printers, 
you must leave a large (about 
three-fourths-inch) margin at the 
bottom of the page to accommo- 
date the way the page passes in 
and out of the printer four times. 
For this printing system to work, 
you must use perforated A4-size 
paper and then tear the perforat- 
ed strips away to cut the page 
down to letter size. You can print 
on plain letter-size pages, but on- 
ly if you can live with the reduced 
print area. Keep in mind that 
using special paper adds to the 
expense of using the printer. 

The Primera is not for every- 
body. In fact, it's more practical 
to use as a second specialized 
printer. One of my friends in the 
silk-screening business uses it to 
do dye-subs for showing his cus- 
tomers proofs of artwork. Then, if 
they want to see how a graphic 
looks on a T-shirt or sweatshirt, he 
prints a thermal wax version on T- 
shirt transfer paper and irons it on- 
to a garment. This is an amazing- 
ly low-priced thermal wax and 
dye-sub printer, but it's not for eve- 
ryday printing. 

Circle Reader Service Number 373 


A recent upgrade to Hewlett-Pack- 
ard's popular 550C, the 560C is 
a reasonably priced, well-built ink- 
jet printer. It prints well on plain 
paper and exceptionally well on 

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special glossy paper and transpar- 
encies. This printer is easy to set 
up and a breeze to use. It takes 
up a little more room on your desk- 
top (and costs a little more) than 
the Canon BJC-600, but it ap- 
pears to be a bit sturdier. 

Unlike many of the printers 
reviewed here, the 560C comes 
with a highly interactive printer driv- 
er that lets you select media and 
output types by clicking on easy- 
to-understand icons. The variety 
of options includes separate set- 
tings for printing graphics, such 
as charts and graphs, and for 
printing monochrome or full-color 
photographs. You can also 
choose separate settings for 
plain or glossy paper. When you 
select glossy paper, the 560C 
waits longer between pages, giv- 
ing the ink time to dry and avoid 
smearing. There is even an Extra 
Drying Time setting. 

On the print tests, the 560C per- 
formed like a champ. Text prints 
well at both large and small siz- 
es, even on plain paper Graph- 
ics print well on plain paper but 
appear a little washed out, 
which, because of absorption, 
isn't surprising. The photographs 
look good but hardly up to proof- 
printer quality, which you really 
can't expect from an Inkjet. 
Where the 560C really excels is 
in printing transparencies. Colors 
and gradients are nearly perfect. 
The bars in my charts were al- 
most identical to those in Pow- 
erPoint on the monitor. 

The 560C is capable of resolu- 
tions of up to 600 x 300 dpi; how- 
ever, except on large text (higher 
than 18 points), you'll notice little 



Hewlett-Packard DeskJet 560C 
Suggested retail price: $719 
Estimated street price: less than 
Warranty: three years 

P0. Box 58059, WIS 511 L-SJ 
Santa Clara, CA 95051-8059 
(800] 752-0900 

Pros: taw cost, good plain-paper 
printing, inexpensive operation 
Cons: none 

difference in the quality of the out- 
put, whichever resolution you use. 
For example, I couldn't tell the dif- 
ference between the gray-scale 
and black-and-white graphics. 

Like many of the printers 
reviewed here, the 560C sup- 
ports a variety of paper sizes, 
including legal and envelopes. 
You can select paper size from 
the Windows printer driver or 
from the front panel on the printer. 
Other options, such as resolution 
and print quality, are also selecta- 
ble from the control panel. 

If you have an earlier DeskJet, 
you can use font cartridges 
designed to work with it. You can- 
not use emulation cartridges, 
such as the PostScript emulation 
cartridges typically supported by 
HP LaserJets. Emulation cartridg- 

Hewlett-Packard DeskJet 1200C 
Suggested retail price: $1,839 

($2,749 for 1200C/FS] 
Estimated street price: less than 

Warranty: one year 

P.O. Box 58059, MS 511L-SJ 
Santa Clara, CA 95051-8059 
{800} 752-0900 

Pros: PostScript option, good 
transparencies, good plain-paper 
printing, HP PCL compatibility, 
many options, high-volume 

Cons: high cost 

es require printer RAM. Inkjet print- 
ers typically have only small buff- 
ers for downloading fonts, and in 
that respect they're similar to dot- 
matrix printers. Exceptions are 
PostScript inkjets, such as the HP 
1200C/PS and IBM Color Jetprin- 
ter PS 4079. 

This is the part of the review 
where I usually discuss some of 
the product's shortcomings. But 
there really is no good reason not 
to recommend the 560C. You get 
a great printer at a great price, as 
well as Hewlett-Packard's excep- 
tional reputation and quality. 

Circle Reader Service Number 374 


At first glance, the 1200C 
appears to be a grown-up ver- 
sion of the DeskJet 560C. How- 
ever, a closer look reveals that it 
is much more. In its standard 
configuration, the 1200C emu- 
lates PCL5, the same language 
used by Hewlett-Packard's pop- 
ular LaserJet printers. What this 
means is that the printer can use 
the same fonts, the same memo- 
ry, and the same font cartridges. 
It also means that you get HP's 
Resolution Enhancement technol- 
ogy (REt), which improves the qual- 
ity of certain types of graphics. 

For $910, you can upgrade the 
1200C to PostScript, making the 
printer a 1200C/PS. For $729 
more, you can upgrade to Post- 
Script Level 2, which provides 




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Circle Reader Service Number 122 


increased speed and graphics 
quality but costs too much. The 
Level 2 upgrade takes the printer 
above the $3,000 ceiling for this 
review. I looked at the 1200C/PS 
with 4MB of RAM. 

This printer performs well and 
prints well, although a little slow- 
ly. The text and graphics over- 
heads were exceptional. As with 
the HP 560C, you can print at ei- 
ther 600 x 300 dpi or 300 x 300 
dpi. However, the 600 x 300 res- 
olution is not available in color. I 
was especially impressed with 
how good text looks on plain 
paper. The Photoshop photo- 
graphs were a bit disappointing, 
though. They were much too 
dark, and some of them were too 
large for the printer to handle in 
the 4MB of RAM. You can, how- 
ever, upgrade the RAM to 20MB. 

Hewlett-Packard sells several 
special paper selections and its 
own brand of transparencies. I 
got the best results on HP paper 
but saw no difference in different 
types of transparencies. 

This is an ideal color printer for 
a network. It supports parallel, 
serial, and LocalTalk interfaces, 
and it can detect which port data 
is coming through and switch 
appropriately. What this means is 
that you can hook up both a Mac 
and a PC to the printer and use 
them simultaneously. You'll also 
find a variety of optional network- 
ing I/O cards for interfacing with 
Novell, Windows NT, UNIX, and 
just about any other network you 
can think of. 

While this printer is a little too 
powerful and expensive for most 
desktops, it's certainly worth con- 
sidering if you do high-volume col- 
or printing or even high-volume 
text printing with frequent color out- 
put. If you do only occasional col- 
or printing, this may be too much 
printer for your application. But if 
you do a lot of presentations, this 
is the ideal printer for overhead 
transparencies, and you can use 
it to proof 35-mm slides and print 
audience handouts. 

Circle Reader Service Number 375 


IBM Color Jetprinter PS 4079 > 

Suggested retail price; $3, 199 
Estimated street price: $2,600 
Warranty; one year 

740 New Circle Rl 
Lexington, KY 40511 
(800) 358-5835 
(GOO) 232-2000 

Pros: PostScript, good text output, 
oversize sfieels, good plain-paper 
printing, many options 

Cons: high cost 


Need a good color printer with 
lots of options? Check out the 
IBM Color Jetprinter PS 4079. It's 
the only printer I found in this 
price range that supports over- 
size sheets up to 11 x 17 inches. 
When you're printing color, there 
are a number of advantages to 
oversize sheets, including the abil- 
ity to print out two-page newslet- 
ter spreads and to proof bleeds 
(areas where ink runs off the pa- 
per) on smaller sheets. 

But oversize-paper support is 
certainly not the only feature to rec- 
ommend this printer. It prints at a 
crisp 360 dpi. Text and graphics 
output is quite respectable on 
both plain paper and special coat- 
ed paper. Transparencies are im- 
peccable. About the only place 
where this printer falls behind the 
Canon and HP 560C models for out- 
put quality is in printing photo- 
graphs. The Jetprinter reproduces 
colors and detail well enough, but 
backgrounds contain some slight 
unsightly patterns. However, as 
I've stressed throughout this arti- 
cle, you shouldn't rely on an inkjet 
printer to print color photographs. 

The printer provides two emu- 
lation modes, both PostScript Lev- 
el 1 and IBM-GL Plotter. And it 
automatically switches between 
them, without your having to 
change anything on the control pan- 

el. Also supported are parallel, 
serial, and LocalTalk interfaces, 
and the printer can sense which 
port the data is coming through 
and switch appropriately. 

You can upgrade the Jetprin- 
ter to 16MB of RAM. The unit I 
reviewed had 4MB. Unlike the HP 
1200C/PS, the Jetprinter was 
able to print all of the test images 
with 4MB. I also hooked the print- 
er to my Mac and PC at the same 
time to run simultaneous print 
jobs. The printer successfully 
communicated to the Mac that it 
was busy while I printed from the 
PC, and then successfully print- 
ed the Mac document when the 
PC had finished. 

In addition to support for Win- 
dows, you also get drivers for the 
following DOS applications: Har- 
vard Graphics 3.0, Lotus 1-2-3, 
Quattro Pro 3.0, and WordPerfect 
5.1. You'll also receive support for 
the Macintosh, for RISC System/ 
6000, and for OS/2. 

Granted, this is more printer 
than most people need. But un- 
like some of the printers reviewed 
here, it is the only printer you'd 
need. It prints text quickly and 
transparencies flawlessly, and I 
even had reasonable results with 
a couple of gray-scale images. 
The ink cartridges are large and 
provide high yield. It costs only a 
few pennies per page to operate 
the printer. 

Unless you're unable to handle 
the initial cost of the Jetprinter, 
which is much higher than the 
cost of the other printers covered 
in the roundup, there's really no 
reason not to buy it. It's a great 
printer for people who do a lot of 
color printing. And remember 
that you get what you pay for. 

Circle Reader Service Number 376 


Now here's a small, easy-to-use, 
and inexpensive-to-operate color 
printer for everybody. Like the Can- 
on, this printer takes up practical- 
ly no space on your desktop; how- 
ever, unlike the Canon, the SJ- 
144 does not feed its output onto 
the desktop, making this a truly 
compact model. You can print any- 
where. I set it on top of my mon- 
itor, and it ran perfectly. 

I got a little bolder and bal- 
anced it on top of a pile of books. 
The SJ-144 hummed along, bare- 
ly moving. The Canon, on the oth- 
er hand, shook my desk slightly. 
I would not have considered set- 
ting it anywhere but on a secure 
surface. Frankly, however, I 
could have run the SJ-144 in the 
palm of my hand, sideways, or up- 
side down. But keep in mind that 
there are trade-offs for every- 
thing. The SJ-144 doesn't print 
quite as well as the Canon. 

A thermal transfer device, the 
SJ-144 supports two resolutions: 
180 x 180 and 360 x 360. These 
resolutions are a little misleading. 
No matter how hard I tried, I could 
not get the output to look accept- 
able on plain paper. Text was fad- 
ed and blotchy, and some graph- 
ics were almost unrecognizable. In 
fact, the output was so bad with 
plain paper that I was about to de- 
clare this printer unusable. 

But what a transformation 
when I used the coated paper! 
Text printed clearly and crisply. 
My transparencies looked good, 

Star Micronics SJ-144 
Suggested retail price: $599 
Estimated street price; (ess than 
Warranty: two years 

700 Ethel Rd. W 
Piscataway, NJ 08854 
(800) 447-4700 

Pros: low cast; good text output; 

inexpensive operation; small. 

quiet compact design 
Cons: poor plain-paper printing 

too. About the only thing this print- 
er can't do really well is photo- 
graphs. At this price ($599), 
though, you can't expect a per- 
fect photorealistic proof printer. 
What you get instead is compact- 
ness and convenience at a rea- 
sonable price. 

And the printer continues to be 
a bargain. Monochrome costs 
about $0.05 per page. Color is a 
bit more expensive at $0.94 per 
page. You should use the color rib- 
bon only when you're ready to 
print your final draft. 

A very impressive feature of 
this printer is its ability to sense 
which ribbon is loaded. When 
you try to print a completely black- 
and-white document with the col- 
or ribbon loaded, the printer 
gives you a ribbon error message 

Tektronix Phaser 220e 
Suggested retail price: $3,995 
Estimated street price: less than 
Warranty: one year 


P.O. Box 1000, MS 63-503 

Wilsonville, OR 97070 


1503) 682-7377 

Pros: excellent color, high-volume 
capability, PostScript Level 2, 
two paper trays, last operation 

Cons: high cost, expensive 
supplies, large design 

and stops to allow you to change 
to black-and-white. This is a 
great way to make sure you don't 
waste your color ribbons while 
printing black-and-white. 

Most likely, this is not neces- 
sary to point out, but the SJ-144 
is not a high-volume printer. It's 
designed for people who use 
their computers occasionally and 
don't print often. It's also de- 
signed for people who don't 
have a lot of desk real estate to 
dedicate to their printers. If you 
meet both of these criteria and 
want a printer you can set (and 
easily carry) anywhere, this one's 
a good option. 

Circle Reader Service Number 377 


Of all the printers reviewed here, 
this one is probably the most mar- 
ket-specific. The Tektronix Phaser 
220e is a thermal wax printer in the 
traditional sense. It's large, it 
prints best on special paper or 
transparencies, and it's primarily 
designed for use on a network or 
by a desktop publisher who works 
with color. While its colors are not 
as photorealistic as those pro- 
duced on a dye sublimation print- 
er, it works great for overheads 
and for color proofing. It's not 
inexpensive to use, so you'll need 
a second printer for text and other 
monochrome documents. 

A huge device, the Phaser 220e 
weighs about 40 pounds. The mod- 
el I looked at came with an option- 
al second feed bin so that you can 


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find out until it is too late. The power 
interruptions here are very hard to live with. 
The other brands are dying off. Typically they 
last just beyond their warranty period. My 
Back-UPS is going on three years. other 
brand is as reliable. " 

virtually all separate surge suppressors. 
Surge performance is even backed by a 
$25,000 Lifetime Equipment Protection 

If you're protecting a network server, a 
communications interface port (on models 
Back-UPS 400 and higher) provides the 
security of an automatic shutdown to all 
major OS including NetWare, Windows, 
Windows NT, LAN Server, LAN Manager, 
LANtastic, SCO Unix, OS/2, Banyan Vines, 
AppleShare/System7 and more, so your data 
is safe whether the system is attended or not. 
(PowerChute software and interface kits 
sold separately.) 

in And since data processed 
! on networked clients needs 
protection too, the $139 
Back-UPS 250 provides an 


Back-UPS (R to L) Application Sugg, Lilt 

250 LAN nodes, internet hardware, POS 


400 Desktop 486, 386 systems, servers 


450 Tower 486, 386 systems, servers 


600 Heavily configured systems, CAD/ 

CAM workstations 


900 Multiple systems, longer runtime 



1250 Multiple systems, LAN hubs, 

small minis, telecom equipment 


Don Traux knows first hand about Back-UPS 
reliability: "It ought to be against the law to 
buy a computer without an APC Back-UPS 
250. I recently had a direct lightning hit right 
outside the house. computer never blinked. 
Each morning I get a surge down the line and 
both APC's hate it - they simultaneously 'holler 
{ n clamp' while my 'Brand T' quietly sleeps in. 
Vve relegated that unit to non-critical 
household stuff like my VCR." 

"7 More than... 

B : B imii]imii]ii 

^ Satisfied Users 

APC has won more awards for performance 
and reliability than all other UPS vendors 
combined... including four consecutive LAN 
Times Readers Choice awards... 

PC World 

Top 20 

economical solution for all your LAN work- 

Discovering how essential Back-UPS 
protection is can be hard., .if you wait for 
the next storm to roll through. But discov- 
ering how afforable it has become is easy... 
Call today and find out (the easy way) 
why more than 1,000,000 satisfied users 
bank on Back-UPS from APC. With more 
awards than all other 
brands combined, field- 
proven reliability, and a two 
year warranty, Back-UPS 
are power protection you 
can purchase with confi- 

Andrew Wargo, Manager at Baxter Land 
Company, tried two other brands before Back- 
UPS. "One lasted a few days, a second one 
went up in smoke after 48 hours, a third lasted 
less than 24 hours! I then bought my Back- 
UPS for less than half of what I had paid for 
the others. We've purchased three more Back- 
UPS and for the past 14 months they've been 
just hummin away on the same power line that 
was eating the other brands alive!" 


Instantaneous backup power beats 
blackouts and brownouts 

Unmatched lightning (tested to UL1449) 
and surge protection for maximum 
hardware safety 

Network-grade line conditioning and EMI/ 
RFI filters prevent glitches 

LAN Interface (on Back-UPS 400 and up) 
provides automatic shutdown to all major 
OS: Windows, NT, NetWare, LAN Server, 
LAN Manager, LANtastic, Unix, OS/2, 
Vines, AppleShare/Systeml and more. 

Site diagnostics automatically spot missing 
ground and reversed polarity, two common 
miswirings which usually require an 
electrician's visit to diagnose. 

Option switches allow you to customize 
transfer voltage and alarm settings. 

Test Switch for ongoing peace of mind 

2 year warranty and full safety approvals 

$25,000 Lifetime Equipment Protection 

Circle Reader Service Number 270 



APC FUKOPH {4-33)64625900/ ASIA/PACIFIC KAX: 40 1-7X9-1631 t 
[.. AMERICA FAX: 401-7K8-271f, / CompuServe: CO APCSUPPOR'l 

Dept. OS 




Printer II 

Prime ra 

HP DeskJet 

Technology used 


thermal transfer 

thermal wax 



Standard/maximum memory 





RGB or CMYK transfer 





Paper sizes supported 

letter, legal, A4, 

letter, legal. A4, 

A, A4, T-shirl 
transfer paper 

letter, legal, A4 t 


Cost of optional paper trays or feeders 










Cost of PostScript upgrade 





Interfaces supported 


parallel, serial, 

parallel, LocalTaik 


Optional interfaces 





Cost of optional interfaces 





Simultaneous support for multiple ports 





Other options available 


30-pg. feeder-$69, 
battery- $69, 

carrying case-ISO, 



dye sublimation 


Cost of operation 

Number of ribbons or cartridges required 

4 ink cartridges 

1 ribbon 

1 ribbon 

2 ink cartridges 

Pice per ribbon or cartridge 




rhermai COlor-$45, 



dye-sub- $89.95/25 

prints, $279.95/100 



Monochrome pages per ribbon or 
cartridge (Color numbers vary according to 




3-coloM T5. 



Cost per page 

monochrome-SQ. 1 0. 


mcnc h rome-$0, 09 , 



Special paper required 

no (optional) 


thermal wax paper 

required, FARGO 

paper required for 

dye- sub 

no (HP glossy 
paper available) 

Cost of special paper 

$20/200 sheets 


premium-! 19 95, 
standard-S 14,95 

$59.95/500 sheets 

Plain-paper printing 



no (requires smooth 
laser paper) 


Acceptable plain-paper printing 









5 8" x 13.8" x 10.2* 

8.2" x 17.5" x 15.3' 


9.4 lbs. 

2.6 lbs. with battery 

15 lbs. 

14.5 lbs. 



HP DeskJet 

IBM Color 

Jetprinter PS 





Phaser 220e 



thermal transfer 

thermal wax 









fetter, legal, A, A4 

letter, legal, tabloid, 
A3. A4, B5, execu- 
tive, envelopes 

letter, legal 

fetter, letter 








yes (Level 2) 

$9 1Q {Level 2-5729 





parallel, LocalTalk 

parallel, serial 


parallel, serial, 

several network 


several network 












memory upgrades 
1MB -$119, 


memory upgrades 

iron-on transfer 
sheets, overhead 
$19.95/20 sheets 

additional 22 
fOntS-$595, 220i 

4 ink cartridges 

4 ink cartridges 

1 ribbon 

1 ribbon 

black-$29 95, 

black-$24 75 


3~coior roll -$165, 

Color Coal for faser 





3-Color roll -34 2 

monochrome-$0. 1 2 



$0.05, cotor $0.94 

$0.56. cObr-$0,56 

no (HP glossy 
paper available) 

no (oplksnal), 


no {but highly 

laser paper 

$59 95/500 sheets 

SO 10/1 sheet 


$30/500 sheets 
3-OOlOr; $80/1000 
sheets Color Coat 




no (requires smooth 
laser paper) 





11,1" x 19.1" X16.9" 

20.5" x 16' x 6.7* 

12,8" x 5.5" x 6 9' 

11" x 17.5" x 13.4" 

29 lbs. 

22 lbs. 

5.5 lbs. 

40 lbs 

run paper from one tray and trans- 
parencies from the other. All that 
users on the network have to 
know when printing is which tray 
holds which medium. 

Interface options abound, 
including parallel, serial, Local- 
Talk, and SCSI; and the printer 
can switch ports automatically. 
You can use the SCSI port to in- 
stall a hard drive for storing 
fonts. The printer also supports 
PostScript, HP-GL, and PCL5 em- 
ulation, meaning that you can 
print in either PostScript, HP plot- 
ter, or HP LaserJet mode. And un- 
like the HP 1200C/PS, it comes 
standard with Level 2 PostScript. 

Also impressive is the color cor- 
rection technology (called TekCol- 
or) built into the Windows and 
Mac printer drivers. You can tell 
the printer to correct color based 
on standard output values or to 
match the monitor. This doesn't 
work flawlessly (monitors are ca- 
pable of many more colors than 
printers), but it's a step closer to 
true color WYSIWYG. 

The Phaser 220e performed 
well on all of the output tests. 
Text was clear and crisp at all siz- 
es. The colors and graphics in 
the transparencies were impecca- 
ble. Even the photographs, 
though not quite up to dye subli- 
mation quality, printed quite well. 
However, as with the other ther- 
mal wax printer in this review, 
you'll have to use A4-size paper 
and then tear away the perforat- 
ed tabs to get a full letter-size 
page. Another great application 
for this type of printer is creating 
iron-on patches for clothing. 

This is not the printer for most 
desktops. You should spend this 
kind of money only if you print col- 
or often. Desktop publishers 
should get good use from the 
Phaser 220e, as should people 
who do a lot of presentations. 

Circle Reader Service Number 378 

Next Month: 

Color Notebooks 

Under $2,500 



Tom Campbell 

This isn't 

the usual how-to 

column I 

normally present, 

and it's not 

exactly a review, 



This column is neither fish nor 
fowl. It's not the usual how-to 
column I normally present, 
and it's not exactly a review, ei- 
ther. Instead, it answers the 
questions I get asked more of- 
ten than any other — namely, 
what programming tools I use 
and why. 

Visual Basic 3.0. If you 
haven't programmed in BASIC 
for a few years and you have 
a Windows programming pro- 
ject coming up, you can prob- 
ably do it in Visual Basic. For- 
get what the experts have 
been telling you about how un- 
derpowered and slow BASIC 
is. Visual Basic is sensational, 
the biggest thing to hit the pro- 
gramming world since C. With 
version 3.0, Visual Basic 
moved into the big leagues by 
offering built-in database sup- 
port and the generally excel- 
lent Jet database engine, the 
same used by Microsoft Ac- 
cess. Visual Basic's greatest 
strength lies in its custom con- 
trols, which can take the form 
of anything from full-fledged im- 
age manipulation programs to 
industrial-strength word proc- 
essors to communications mod- 
ules to Windows 4-style bub- 
ble help controls— the possibil- 
ities are quite literally endless. 
Visual Basic has some short- 
comings that C and C++ don't 
have (custom controls must 
be written in C, C+ + , or Turbo 
Pascal and can't even be writ- 
ten in Visual Basic), but 
there's always a custom con- 
trol to fit your needs. The pro- 
fessional edition costs a cou- 
ple of hundred more than the 
standard edition, but it is es- 
sential for most database 
work, comes with some killer 
custom controls that the stan- 
dard edition doesn't have, and 
has the help compiler you 
need to create true Windows 
online help. It's by far the eas- 

iest "real" Windows language 
to learn, and it's also the most 
fun. My biggest concerns 
about Visual Basic were 
speed and language limita- 
tions, but I've done a number 
of professional applications in 
Visual Basic, and neither of 
those issues has ever even 
come up. 

Visual C++. In my day job 
I'm a systems programmer, do- 
ing things that generally re- 
quire the maximum speed 
and flexibility. Because the pro- 
grams I write are very close to 
the hardware, I use C and 
C++, and Visual C++ is the on- 
ly compiler I've used for a 
year now. It's very clear to me 
that the future of Windows sys- 
tems programming is C+ + 
and that MFC will be the class 
library of choice. Microsoft has 
licensed it to other vendors, 
the source to MFC is included 
with the professional edition of 
Visual C+ + , and MFC is the 
best overall class library I've ev- 
er seen. More important, MFC 
is effectively the new Windows 
API, and most articles, third- 
party books, and examples 
will employ MFC. As Windows 
moves to other machines, the 
C API will change somewhat, 
but MFC will be much easier 
to maintain. Visual C + + 1.5 
adds database and OLE sup- 
port, the latter being unbe- 
lievably easy to add to your 

The SemWare Editor. If I 
could graft the Borland editor 
into the Visual C + + environ- 
ment, I'd be in seventh heav- 
en, but with The SemWare Edi- 
tor for DOS, at least I'm in sixth 
heaven. It's very small, quite in- 
expensive, and totally reconfig- 
urable; it edits files of any 
size; and it has a supercon- 
venient temporary macro facil- 
ity that I use several times a 
day. You can contact Sem- 
Ware at (404) 641-9002. 

Components. Spread/VBX 
from FarPoint Technologies 
(804-378-0432) is in many 

ways more advanced than the 
spreadsheet core of Excel 4.0; 
it's very well designed and im- 
plemented. It has formulas 
(even user-defined formulas), 
cool little calendars you can 
use to enter dates, different 
fonts for each cell, in-cell edit- 
ing, full Clipboard support, and 
even support for images in 
cells. Tab/VBX gives you those 
cool tabs that OS/2 and the up- 
coming Windows 4 will have. 
Manuals for both products are 
a bit skimpy and would be well 
served by more examples, but 
the software is bug-free and 
very, very slick. FarPoint has oth- 
er products, but I haven't 
looked them over yet. 

MicroHelp (800-922-3383) 
has some very fine Visual Ba- 
sic custom controls in its 3-D 
Gizmos toolkit, almost all of 
which work with Visual C+ + , 
too. HighEdit Pro lets you 
bring full word-processing ca- 
pabilities into your apps, con- 
quering the 32K, single-font lim- 
itations notorious to Visual Ba- 
sic hackers. MicroHelp's cus- 
tom controls always work 
great, but the documentation 
is of only medium quality, sore- 
ly lacking in tutorial matter and 
real-world sample programs. 
MicroHelp also has an exten- 
sive communications library, a 
high-performance library of 
about 700 general-purpose rou- 
tines, and other products. 

Sheridan's VBAssist, which 
I covered in the April column, 
is worth its weight in gold 
when I'm developing data- 
base applications in Visual 
Basic. You can get by without 
it if you're not creating data- 
base apps professionally, but 
if you are, it's a wonder work- 
er, attaching itself to the Visu- 
al Basic environment and giv- 
ing you a feature set so well 
integrated into Visual Basic 
that you'll very quickly begin to 
wonder how developers can 
use Visual Basic without it. 
You can contact Sheridan at 
(516) 753-0985. □ 


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Circle Reader Service Number 140 


Edited by Richard C. Leinecker 

Finding hidden files 

in File Manager, 

defragging floppies, 

and faking out 

your friends with a 

faux desktop 

Unhiding Files 

I've managed to find a way to 
see hidden and system files 
in Windows 3.1. You need to 
run File Manager (it's in the 
program group labeled 
Main). From File Manager, se- 
lect the View pull-down menu. 
Choose By File Type, click on 
the check box that says 
Show Hidden/System Files, 
then click on the OK button. 

Hidden and system files 
can be identified by the red ! 
character that appears on the 
file icon (which looks like fold- 
ed pieces of paper). The ! 
character will appear in the 
middle of the icon. 


Faster Floppies 

Here's a small batch file I cre- 
ated to defragment floppy 
disks. It requires DOS 6.2's 
CHOICE and DEFRAG. You'll 
find that accessing many flop- 
pies is much faster once they 
are defragmented. Here is 


ECHO Place disk to be 
ECHO defragmented 
ECHO in the A drive now. 


CHOICE /C:YN/T:N,10 Do you wish 
to defragment another 

The parameters in the DE- 
FRAG statement are as fol- 
lows: the drive, A; the switch 
to fully defragment the select- 
ed floppy, /F; the switch to 
sort files by name, /SN; and 
the switch to defragment hid- 
den files, /H. 

The parameters in the 
CHOICE statement tell which 

keys to accept, /C:YN; how 
many seconds before the de- 
fault engages, /T:N,10; and 
the text to display onscreen, 
Do you wish to defragment an- 
other. You don't need to 
place a question mark after 
the text. Choice does this au- 

This will not run under Win- 
dows or any other multi- 
tasking environment. 


Windows Trick 

If you use Windows and sus- 
pect that people are messing 
with your system, you can 
play a trick on them. Set up 
Windows the way it would 
look on a typical workday. 
Press Print Screen. This cap- 
tures the screen image to the 
Clipboard. Next, load up Paint- 
brush. Pull down the Options 
menu and select Image Attrib- 
utes. In the resulting dialog 
box, click on Pels and make 
sure the image size is the 
same size as your screen. My 
screen is 640 x 480, so I set 
the image size at 640 wide 
and 480 high. Go to the View 
menu and choose Zoom Out. 
Pull down the Edit menu and 
select Paste. A grid will ap- 
pear in the Paintbrush win- 
dow. Pull down the Edit menu 
and select Paste again. Your 
Windows desktop will appear 
on the canvas. Go to the 
View menu and choose 
Zoom In. Save the picture as 
DESKTOP.BMP and quit Paint- 

Start up the Control Panel 
(located in the Main program 
group) and choose Desktop. 
When the Desktop window ap- 
pears, go to the Wallpaper 
section and choose DESK- 
TOP.BMP A picture of your 
desktop will now be the wall- 

When you leave your com- 
puter unattended, minimize 
the Program Manager and all 
other programs. Position 

them in the bitmap picture of 
your desktop so that they are 
disguised, if others try to use 
your system, they'll end up 
clicking on the wallpaper and 
become confused. Of course, 
they'll eventually figure it out, 
but at least you'll get a laugh 
out of their reaction. 


Undocumented WordPerfect 

If you use WordPerfect 5.1 
and have an extended key- 
board, you can use three com- 
mands that aren't listed in the 
manual. Shift-F1 1 turns on ital- 
ics, Ctrl-F11 turns on large 
print, and Alt-F 1 1 turns on 
very large print. 


An Ounce of Prevention 

I've been going through my 
collection of past issues of 
COMPUTE and have seen at 
least two recent references to 
what to do when the inevita- 
ble battery failure occurs or 
the CMOS information is lost 
for other reasons. Mark Mina- 
si's November 1993 "Hard- 
ware Clinic" had a very infor- 
mative method for recovering 
the hard drive information. 
The adage about an ounce of 
prevention being worth a 
pound of cure definitely has 

The following two short BA- 
SIC programs should be 
stored on an emergency boot 
disk. (Every computer should 
have at least one emergency 
boot disk.) When SAVECMOS 
is run, it reads the values 
from the CMOS and stores 
them in a file called 
CMOS. RAM. If the CMOS los- 
es its values, boot from the 
emergency disk, run QBA- 
SIC, and run RESTCMOS. 
This will restore the values 
saved in CMOS. RAM to the 
CMOS. Needless to say, the 
file CMOS. RAM needs to be 



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m- tdit M<ip 

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Circle Reader Service Number 137 


Using extra 


keypresses, backing 

up your CMOS, 


an undocumented 

Mem parameter, 

locating your mouse, 

and more 

on the boot disk, too. Here is 

DIM CM0S(63) 
FOR I = 1 TO 63 
OUT 112,1 
CMOS(I) = INP(113) 


FOR I = 1 TO 63 

which you can use to restore 
the CMOS settings. 


DIM CM0S(63) 



FOR I = 1 TO 63 




FOR I = 1 TO 63 

OUT 112,1 

OUT 113, CMOS(I) 




Undocumented Mem 

If you have MS-DOS 6.2, 
there's an undocumented 
switch you can add to the 
Mem command. If you want 
to see the available space in 
high-memory area, add /A to 
the command line. 


Get the Rodent Right 

Computer systems just get 
more and more complicated. 
Adding expansion cards can 
be a nightmare. One of the 
hardest things to do is install 
modem or fax cards. I always 
find myself asking what COM 
port and IRQ my mouse is on 
so I can avoid the conflict. 

If you're lucky enough to 
see those parameters when 
your mouse driver first loads, 
great. The rest of us have to re- 
ly on deductive reasoning. 

This month a program that 
you can type in will solve all 
of your problems. If you run it 
and your mouse driver is in- 
stalled, it'll show you what 
kind of a mouse you have, 
what IRQ it's on, and for seri- 
al mice, what COM port it's 
on. It's called Rodent. 

You can type in RO- 
DENT.COM using the DOS De- 
bug command. Make sure 
the DOS program called De- 
bug is in your path or the cur- 
refit directory. In this exam- 
ple, the italic text is what the 
computer prints; the roman 
text is what you should type. 
One way to be sure you get 
this type of program exactly 
right is to have someone 
read the numbers to you as 
you type them in. Another 
way suggested by one of our 
readers is to read the num- 
bers into a tape recorder and 
then play them back as you 
enter the program code. 

File not found 

-e100 2B CO 8E CO 26 A1 CC 00 
-e108 26 OB 06 CE 00 0B CO 74 
-e110 49 2B DB B8 24 00 CD 33 
-e118 0BDB74 3E 80 C1 30 88 
-e120 OE 8B01 8ADD2AFF FE 
-e128 CBD1 E3 8B 97 5E 01 B4 
-e130 09 CD 21 80 F9 30 74 22 
-e138 BA87 01 B4 09 CD 21 80 
-e140 F9 33 7C 16 80 F9 34 7F 
-e148 11 80 F1 07 80 E9 02 88 
-e150 0E 93 01 BA 8D 01 B4 09 
-e158 CD 21 B4 4CCD21 68 01 
-e160 6D01 75 01 7D 01 83 01 
-e168 42 75 73 2C 24 53 65 72 
-e 170 69 61 6C 2C 24 49 6E 50 
-e178 6F72 74 2C 24 50 53 2F 
-e180 32 2C24 48 50 2C 24 49 
-e188 52 51 20 32 24 2C 43 4F 
-e190 4D4D20 33 24 0D 0A 24 
CX 0000 

Writing 0098 bytes 

The checksum value is 14337 
(see the July 1994 "Tips & 
Tools" for CHECKSUM.COM). 


Extra Stuff 

This month, four new pro- 
grams appear on America On- 
line. Three will help you give 
your batch files a profession- 
al appearance. One will give 
you a quick way to print out a 
few lines on your printer. 

Sedit is a text-based paint 
program that lets you design 
screens for use with a compan- 
ion program, Scrnshow. A pro- 
gram called Grabtext will let 
you capture text-based 
screens to load into Sedit or 
Scrnshow. You'll be amazed 
at how great your batch files 
will look. (Source code for Sed- 
it and Grabtext isn't available 
right now.) 

Typerite is an enhanced ver- 
sion of a program that ap- 
peared earlier in "Tips & 
Tools." This version works bet- 
ter and has more options. 

If you have useful pro- 
grams, please send them in, 
and we'll try to use them as 
our online bonus programs. 
We can't pay for them the 
way we pay for published 
tips, but a lot of people will ap- 
preciate them. 
Richard c. leinecker 
reidsville, nc 

// you have an interesting tip 
that you think would help oth- 
er PC users, send it along 
with your name, address, and 
Social Security number to 
COMPUTE'S Tips & Tools, 
324 West Wendover Avenue, 
Suite 200, Greensboro, North 
Carolina 27408. For each tip 
we publish, we 'II pay you $25- 
$50. All tips submitted be- 
come the property of General 
Media International. D 


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2. Dial toll free: 1-800-638-8369 or 
in Canada 1-800-387-8330. After 
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cool offer. 5. Have a major credit 
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In Canada, Visa and MasterCard only. 

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Mark Minasi 

the Hicks Intel used 

to make the 

66-MHz Pentium 

taster than 

the 66-MHz 486DX2 


The clock speeds of Pentiums 
and 486s seem similar. But 
the Pentium is faster than the 
486 — how does it get faster? 

Pentium chips are offered 
in 60- and 66-MHz varieties be- 
cause Intel had trouble produc- 
ing Pentiums that could han- 
dle 66 MHz. Many of those 
failed 66-MHz chips could per- 
form reliably at 60 MHz, so In- 
tel offered the 60-MHz chip. 
Most of the less expensive 
Pentium machines are based 
on the 60-MHz chips. A Penti- 
um running at 60 or 66 MHz 
doesn't sound like that much 
of an improvement over the 
486DX2-66 chip, but it's ac- 
tually much faster. One reason 
for the higher speed is that the 
60- and 66-MHz Pentiums run 
both internally and externally 
at those speeds. The 486DX2- 
66, in contrast, runs at 66 MHz 
internally but only at 33 MHz 
when communicating with the 
rest of the PC's circuitry. 

A new Pentium chip, the 
P54C, runs at 90 or 99 MHz, 
but unlike the original Penti- 
ums, it isn't a pure 90- or 99- 
MHz chip. Instead, the P54C 
is a 60- or 66-MHz Pentium 
equipped with a one-and-a- 
half-clock circuit. The mother- 
board would run at, say, 60 
MHz, but internal P54C oper- 
ations would run 50 percent 

Potentially, this P54C could 
be offered as an upgrade 
chip for existing Pentium sys- 
tems, but only with a special 
socket. In any case, be aware 
that a 100-MHz Pentium sys- 
tem really has a jazzed-up 66- 
MHz Pentium at its heart. 

Another way the Pentium 
racks up better speed is as a 
result of instruction pipelining. 
A CPU executes a program in 
memory by first fetching the in- 
struction from RAM, then exe- 
cuting the instruction. Those 
two steps are unchanged re- 
gardless of the CPU. But be- 

fore the instruction can be ex- 
ecuted, the CPU must figure 
out what kind of instruction it 
is. For example, some instruc- 
tions only require one byte of 
information, like the simplest 
CPU instruction, NOR NOP 
means "no operation"; when 
the CPU encounters this in- 
struction, it just moves along 
to the next instruction. Its op- 
code is hex 90. Here are the 
steps the CPU must go 
through in executing NOP. 

1. Read the 90h opcode. 

2. Recognize that there are 
no other bytes to read in this 

3. Increment the instruction 
pointer (IP) by one so that the 
CPU knows where to get the 
next instruction. 

4. Fetch the next program 

By contrast, a command 
like MOV AX, [44], which tells 
the CPU to add the value in 
the AX register to whatever is 
in memory location 44, re- 
quires many more steps. In 
hex, it's three bytes: 03, 06, 
44. Here's what the CPU must 
do to perform this operation. 

1. Read the 03 opcode. 

2. Recognize it as an ADD 
command, which requires at 
least one more byte. 

3. Read the next byte, 06. 

4. Recognize that the 03, 
06 combination requires a 
third byte. 

5. Read the next byte, 44. 

6. Fetch the value at loca- 
tion 44 from memory. 

7. Add the value in memory 
location 44 to the value current- 
ly in the AX register. 

8. Put the result into the AX 

9. Add three to the instruc- 
tion pointer so that it can find 
the next instruction. 

10. Fetch the next instruc- 
tion from memory. 

Early microprocessors 
would perform steps 1-10 
above, and only when the 
tenth step was finished would 
they start working on the next 

instruction. This would be like 
running an automobile factory 
by making an entire car with- 
out starting work on the sec- 
ond car until the first is com- 
pletely finished. That's silly, as 
it's obvious that one group of 
people can be working on an 
engine while another group 
works on the wheels while an- 
other works on the doors, and 
so on. Microprocessors can 
do the same thing, and the 
first Intel 80x86 processor to 
do that was the 80286. The 
286 incorporated 6 bytes of 
prefetch queue or pipeline. 
(The 80386 has 16 bytes, the 
486 has 32 bytes, and the Pen- 
tium has two 64-byte queues.) 

The prefetch queue can 
speed up a microprocessor in 
two ways. The first is what I 
just described — the assembly- 
line approach to decoding in- 
structions. Before I explain the 
second, I need to explain the 
bottleneck between memory 
and the CPU. 

The CPU spends a lot of 
time retrieving data from the 
system's memory. Typically, 
that requires two cycles of the 
computer's clock, during 
which the CPU is not decod- 
ing and executing instruc- 
tions. Therefore, the prefetch 
queue can save time in anoth- 
er way: It can get the instruc- 
tions out of memory in parallel 
with the decoder unit. While 
the CPU's execution unit is ex- 
ecuting instruction X, the de- 
coder unit is decoding instruc- 
tion X+1 , and the prefetch unit 
is retrieving instruction X + 2 
from the RAM. 

This sounds great. Unfortu- 
nately, it doesn't always work. 
If the CPU's execution unit is 
in the middle of executing an 
instruction that moves data to 
or from memory, then the path- 
ways between the memory 
and the CPU are already oc- 
cupied for the moment, and 
the prefetch unit must wait. De- 
spite that bottleneck, the instruc- 
tion prefetch considerably 


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speeds up CPU operations. 
That's not the end of the 
memory story, however. We 
discuss CPU speeds in 
terms of megahertz— and 
the more megahertz, the bet- 
ter. We discuss memory 
speeds in nanoseconds (ns) 
of access time— and the few- 
er nanoseconds, the better. 
As CPUs get faster, memory 
must get faster as well. The 
relationship between CPU 
speed and memory speed 
isn't straightforward, but you 
can get a rough equivalence 
using this formula: If you 
have a CPU of M megahertz, 
then it will require RAM with 
an access time of about 
2000/M nanoseconds. For ex- 
ample, a 50-MHz system 
would require RAM with an 
access time of 2000/50 ns — 

which works out to 40 ns. 

Most PCs use dynamic 
RAM, which is cheaper and 
slower than static RAM. Stat- 
ic RAM is about ten times 
more expensive than dynam- 
ic RAM, it takes up more phys- 
ical space in a computer, 
and it generates more heat 
than dynamic RAM. For that 
reason, dynamic RAM is usu- 
ally the primary RAM used in 
a PC. But dynamic RAM 
doesn't come much faster 
than about 65 ns, which is 
too slow for modern proces- 
sor speeds. How can engi- 
neers design a machine with 
RAM that can keep up with 
the fastest CPUs? 

The answer implemented 
most often is to use a small 
amount of the faster, more ex- 
pensive static RAM and a 

much larger amount of the 
slower, cheaper dynamic 
RAM. The small amount of 
static memory is called an ex- 
ternal cache. A chip called a 
cache controller looks into 
the future, guesses what da- 
ta the CPU will soon need, 
and preloads that informa- 
tion into faster cache memo- 
ry from the slower dynamic 
memory. Then, each time 
the CPU tries to read data 
from the memory, the cache 
controller checks to see if 
the data the CPU needs is in 
the cache. If it is, the cache 
controller zaps the data 
straight into the CPU, and as 
a result, the CPU only waits 
two clock cycles for the data 
to arrive. 

If, on the other hand, the 
cache controller didn't 

guess what the CPU would 
need, and the requested da- 
ta is not in the cache, the 
cache controller will tell the 
CPU to twiddle its thumbs for 
a few extra clock cycles 
(known as wait states) while 
the cache controller goes 
through the time-consuming 
process of copying data 
from the slower dynamic 
memory into the faster static 
cache memory. 

The 486 takes the proc- 
ess even further by incorpo- 
rating a small amount of 
cache memory inside the 
microprocessor (the internal 
cache). Data can be 
fetched from this memory in 
one cycle rather than two. 
There is only 8K of processor 
cache on most 486s (the 
486DX4 has 16K and the Cy- 

rix 486 replacement chip for 
386 machines has only 1K). 
But that cache may have 
heavy demands placed up- 
on it, particularly because 
the prefetch unit fetches in- 
structions at the same time 
the execution unit may be ac- 
cessing cache memory. Sup- 
pose the CPU were execut- 
ing an instruction that in- 
volved a memory operation. 
The prefetch unit under a 
486 must idle, waiting for the 
execution unit on the CPU to 
yield access to memory so 
that the prefetch queue can 
retrieve the next instruction. 
The Pentium improves up- 
on that with two caches: an 
8K cache for instructions 
and an 8K cache for data. A 
Pentium gets things done fast- 
er than a 486 of the same 

clock speed partly because 
its prefetch queue can al- 
most always run in parallel 
with its execution unit. 

Using pipelining makes 
for a powerful solution to the 
memory access problem, 
but this solution is prone to 
a major hitch which occurs 
during program branching. 
The way I ' ve described pipe- 
lining pretty much assumes 
that the CPU just plunks 
along in a linear fashion 
through RAM, going from the 
instruction at location X to 
the instruction at location 
X+1, and then X+2, and so 
on. But that's not always 
true. Programs very often 
will jump from one location to 
another, a process called 
branching. (If you've ever 
used a GOTO, an IF/THEN/ 

WEND, a CALL, or a 
GOSUB in a BASIC pro- 
gram, you've caused your 
CPU to branch.) Branching 
is bad news because it essen- 
tially says to the pipeline, 
"Well, guys, I know you've 
been working hard at pick- 
ing apart the next 64 bytes of 
instructions, but dump it all — 
we're moving someplace 
else, and we don't need 
those next 64 bytes." A 
branch forces a 486 or earli- 
er processor to flush the pipe- 
line and start gathering in- 
structions all over again in a 
new section of the program. 
The Pentium's answer is 
branch prediction. The Penti- 
um features a look-ahead 
algorithm that sees branch 
instructions coming up in the 

pipeline (such as "If AX is 
greater than BX, then skip 
ahead 100 bytes"), guesses 
which turn the branch will 
take, and starts disassem- 
bling at the place where the 
branch predictor guesses 
that the CPU will end up. 
This algorithm isn't always 
right, but it is right about 90 
percent of the time. 

The Pentium initially 
sounds like a nonstarter, 
with its CPU speeds that are 
about the same as the earli- 
er 486 speeds. But if you 
take the time to look under 
the hood, you can see that In- 
tel has pulled just about eve- 
ry possible trick to make the 
Pentium get your work done 
more quickly. You have to 
wonder what improvements 
are left for the Hexium. O 

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Get Ready for Windows 4.0 with OLE 2.0. 

OLE 2,0 is hot off the 
drawing board, and it's 
one of the most impor- 
tant computing technologies of 
the nineties, ft will help you 
move the focus of your work 
from the means you use- 
applications — to the end 
results— documents. It's also 
one of the cornerstones of 
Windows 4.0, and it will be 
even more important in ver- 
sions of Windows beyond 4.0. 
Best of all, it's here now and 
ready to be explored. If you 
tried OLE 1.0 but gave up 
because it was too complicat- 
ed, too limited, or both, don't 
give up on the technology. This 
completely new version of OLE 
is easier to use, more powerful, 
and more robust. 

OIE 2,0 Defined 

OLE stands for Object Linking 
and Embedding, and it's pro- 
nounced "oh-LAY," just like the 
word you'd shout at a bullfight. 
It's an extension of the 
Windows operating system 
developed by Microsoft that 
makes working in a document- 
centric style possible. Docu- 
ment-centric is a ten-dollar 
word which simply means that 
documents, rather than the 
programs that create them, are 
the focus of your work. 

Think about the way you 
work now. You probably 
approach your tasks in terms 
of applications. If you use a 
word processor, a spread- 
sheet, and an illustration pro- 
gram to create documents, 
your work is probably orga- 
nized around running each of 
these applications, rather than 
focused on the documents the 
applications create. 

Just what does OLE 2.0 do? 
OLE gives you the power to do 
four things: 

• Create compound docu- 
ments containing embedded or 
linked objects. 

• Edit embedded objects in 
place (this is called visual edit- 

• Drag and drop objects 
between documents. 

• Control other OLE objects 
with OLE automation. 

First and foremost, OLE lets 
you create compound docu- 
ments, where one document is 
constructed from several other 
documents. For example, a 
word-processing document 
can contain a table from a 
spreadsheet and a picture 
from an illustration program. 
But you can add spreadsheet 
data and pictures to a word- 
processing document now with 
the Windows Clipboard. How is 
this different? 

When you use the Clip- 
board, the application into 
which you are pasting doesn't 
know anything about the appli- 
cation that supplied the data. 
With OLE, it knows what appli- 
cation supplied the data, and 
by double-clicking on the OLE 
object, you can call the 
object's creator. 

By Clifton Karnes 

OLE 2.0 also supports drag 
and drop between applications, 
so an object — such as a text 
selection — can simply be 
dragged from one OLE app 
(called the source) to another 
OLE app (called the target). As 
you probably know, Windows 
3.1 introduced drag and drop 
for files, with File Manager as the 
only application from which you 
could drag; but with OLE 2.0, 
you can drag and drop objects 
between applications as well. 

And OLE automation makes it 
possible for one program to con- 
trol another. This process is 
something most of us won't use, 
but it gives programmers a pow- 
erful tool for integrating programs 
and designing front ends. 

Think of OLE automation as a 
macro language that gives you 
access to an application's inter- 
nal commands and data struc- 
tures. With OLE automation you 
could, for example, create a 
Visual Basic program that would 
manipulate three applications: a 
communications program, a 
spreadsheet, and a word 
processor. It would use automa- 
tion to have the communications 
program call an online service 
and download stock information. 
It would update the spreadsheet 
with this information and auto- 
matically create a report with the 
word processor, embedding the 
spreadsheet data as part of the 

Fighting the Bull 

The word OLE conjures up 
images of bullfighters and charg- 
ing bulls, and just like a real-world 
bullfight, OLE has two primary 
players: the bull, which is the serv- 
er application, and the bullfighter, 
which is the container application. 
The OLE goal is for the bull to 
embed his horn in the bullfighter. 

In this bullfighting scene, we're 
the cheering, but occasionally 
confused, spectators. A little dose 
of jargon will help clear away the 
confusion. You've been bombard- 
ed with a little OLE-speak already, 
because it's impossible to talk 
about what OLE does without 
introducing some of it. Here is a 
short OLE lexicon. Once you learn 
these six terms, OLE will be much 
easier to grasp. 






Visual editing 

The most important player in 
the OLE drama is the OLE object. 
The object is anything you 
embed in a document or [ink to it 
(I'll explain linking and embed- 
ding later). For example, if you're 
working in a Word document and 
you include a selection from an 
Excel spreadsheet and a 
CorelDRAW! illustration, the 
spreadsheet and the illustration 
are OLE objects. 

In the example above, the 
Word document that holds the 
spreadsheet and illustration is the 
container, the application that 
contains the OLE objects. The 
applications that supply the OLE 
objects to the container are 
called servers, so in our example, 
Excel and CorelDRAW! are 
servers. Just to keep us on our 
toes, Microsoft has changed the 
jargon a little here from OLE ver- 
sion 1.0 to version 2.0. Back in 
the days of OLE 1.0, the contain- 
er was called the client (as in 
client/server), and you'll still hear 
that term used sometimes in con- 
nection with OLE 2.0. 

While objects are the most 
important OLE element, servers— 
the applications that create the 
objects— are the most interesting, 
and there are two types: full 
servers and miniservers. 

A full server is a stand-alone 
app that can run all by itself, like 
Excel, Word, or CorelDRAW!. A 


This compound document was created in 
Word for Windows 6^0, with three drawings 
from CorelDRAW! 4.0 embedded and one 
spreadsheet from Excel 5,0 for Windows 
embedded. With these four embedded 
objects* the Word document's fife size is 

Is it live or is it Memorex? Or rather, is it 
Word or is it Excel? This example shows 
Word for Windows visually editing an Excel 
spreadsheet. Notice that the title bar is 
from Word for Windows, but the menus 
and toolbar buttons are those of the server 
application — Excel 



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To find the OLE servers already on your 
system, run any OLE container and 
choose the Insert Object menu item. 
Finding all of the OLE containers isn't quite 
so simple. The best way is to start up each 
of your applications and pull down the Edit 
or Insert menu. If there is an Insert Object 
option, the application is a container. 

miniserver is an application that 
can't run by itself; it can only be 
called from a container. Microsoft 
Draw, which appeared with Word 
2.0, is an example of a miniserver, 
and Word Art, which appears in 
Word 2.0 and Word 6.0, is anoth- 
er example. These applications 
exist only to serve containers. 

Now to linking and embedding. 
When an object is linked, the data 
remains in the original file, and 
any changes you make to the 
original object's file are reflected 
in the linked object. If an object is 
embedded, the container gets a 
full copy of the object's data,' 
which becomes part of the con- 
tainer document. If you make 
changes in the original file, these 
changes are not reflected in the 
embedded object. 

With OLE 2.0, if an item is linked, 
you can double-click on it to run the 
server— its creator. If an item is 
embedded and the server supports 
visual editing, you can double-click 
on it, and the container will trans- 
form itself into the server. 

The key to linking and embed- 
ding should be obvious: If you're 
working with a compound docu- 
ment, double-clicking on a linked 
or embedded item will summon its 
creator either by running the 
application or by turning the con- 
tainer into the server. 

Now that we have some jargon 
under our belts, it's important to 
note that applications may support 
all of these OLE features or just a 
few. Some apps are containers 
only, some are servers only, and 
some may support everything but 
visual editing, drag and drop, or 
automation. Just knowing an 
application supports OLE 2.0 
doesn't necessarily tell you much. 

When you read in a flier or an 
advertisement that a product sup- 
ports OLE 2.0, take the time to 
inquire as to which OLE features 
are supported. Not surprisingly, 
Microsoft products are among the 
products with the most complete 
OLE support. 

Three-Way Paste 

There are three ways to place in a 
document in one application an 
object from another application. 
One of them doesn't involve OLE 
and two of them do. The three 
major moves, as you might guess, 
are simple pasting, OLE embed- 
ding, and OLE linking. 

Here's the scenario: You want 
to insert a CorelDRAW! 4.0 pic- 
ture into Word for Windows 6.0. 

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You have three ways to do it. 

Paste. Simple pasting is the way 
you normally move data using the 
Clipboard. If the picture has already 
been created, copy it to the Clip- 
board. Then, in Word, choose Edit, 
Paste. This gives Word a copy of the 
CorelDRAW! data in a format Word 
can use, but there's no link to 
CorelDRAW!. If you double-click on 
this object, Word runs its own graph- 
ics editor. Word has forgotten all 
about CorelDRAW!. 

Embed. There are three ways to 
embed objects, depending on the 
object's state. You can embed new 
objects, files, or selections on the 

If the picture has already been cre- 
ated, copy it to the Clipboard. Then, in 
Word, choose Edit, Paste Special, 
click on the Paste option button, and 
choose CorelDRAW! 4.0 Object. This 
embeds the illustration in the Word 
document, and double-clicking on the 
object in Word runs CorelDRAW!. 

To embed a new illustration in 
Word, choose Insert, Object, select 
the Create New tab, and choose 
CorelDRAW! 4.0 Illustration from the 
list box. This will run CorelDRAW! with 
a blank document loaded. Create 

your new illustration. When you've fin- 
ished, select Exit and Return from the 
CorelDRAW! File menu, and the Corel 
document will be embedded in the 
Word document. 

To embed a file in Word, choose 
Insert, Object, select the Create from 
File tab, and choose the CorelDRAW! 
4.0 CDR file you want to embed. It's 
worth noting here that you can display 
your embedded object as an icon, if 
you wish. 

Link. If the picture has already 
been created, copy it to the Clipboard. 
Then, in Word, choose Edit, Paste 
Special, Paste Link, Object. 

To link a file in Word, choose 
Insert, Object, select the Create from 
File tab, check Link to File, choose the 
CorelDRAW! 4.0 CDR file you want to 
link, and that's it. Here, as with the 
example above, you can display your 
linked object as an icon. 

To summarize these actions from 
another point of view: 

• To paste, simply choose Paste from 
your application's Edit menu. 

• To link or embed an object that's on 
the Clipboard, use Edit, Paste Special. 

• To link or embed a file, use Insert, 
Object, Create from File. 

How Wc Got Here: 

Clipboard, DDE, 
OLE 1.0, and OLE 2.0 

Despite its novelty, OLE 2,0 is 
not revolutionary, but the product 
of evolution that began with the 
humble but amazingly useful 
Windows Clipboard. 

The Clipboard is the first means 
Windows users had of sharing data 
between applications, in many 
cases, it's all you need. You simply 
press Ctrl-C to copy and Ctrl-V to 
paste, and that's it. 

Next came DDE. Dynamic Data 
Exchange, a precursor to OLE 
automation. With DDE, one appli- 
cation could control another and 
move data back and forth. As any- 
one who's programmed DDE can 
tell you, however, it's hairy. DDE 
connections are easily broken, and 
behavior is not always what you'd 
expect. DDE has proven popular 
and useful, however. 

Next on our list is OLE 1.0. This 
first pass at OLE gave us the 
power to keep a connection 
between data pasted into an appli- 
cation and the data's creator, 
Through this link the data is auto- 
matically updated when the original 
is changed, and you can run the 
object's creator by double-clicking 
on the object. 

OLE 2.0 carries everything in 
OLE 1.0 a big step further. With 
2.0. you can not oniy double-click 
on an OLE object to caii its server 
application, but if the object is 
embedded, your container will 
transform itself into the server. OLE 
2.0 also adds object drag and drop 
between applications, and OLE 
automation, which will probably 
replace DDE. 

• To embed a new object, use Insert, 
Object, Create New. 

Drag and Drop 

If you want to embed an object, drag 
and drop may be the easiest way to 
move the data between your docu- 
ments. Here's the procedure you'd fol- 
low to embed a section of an Excel 
spreadsheet in a Word document 
using drag and drop. 

1 . Tile Word and Excel side by side on 
the desktop. 

2. Select the cells in Excel you want to 
embed in Word. 

3. Place the mouse pointer on the 
selection's border, hold down the Ctrl 
key, and drag the selection to Word. 
(When you hold down the Ctrl key and 


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Windows 4*0 and Beyond 

OLE is one of the cornerstones of 
Windows 4.0, and Microsoft is urg- 
ing all developers to make their 
apps OLE compliant. In 1995, pro- 
grams that don't support OLE will be 
the exception rather than the rule. 

Although OLE 2.0 is being used 
now primarily as a way of creating 
compound documents that are easy 
to work with, in the future the con- 
tainer-server model will be extended 
to applications as well, in !his just- 
around-the-comer version of OLE, 
applications will be constructed 
from containers populated with com- 
ponents, which are small, focused 
misapplications. This extension of 
OLE is called the component-object 
model, or COM. 

As an example of COM, you could 
build your own word processor with 
the container engine from one ven- 
dor, the spelling checker component 
from another, the thesaurus compo- 

nent from another, and the graphics 
component from another. 

You could also build your own 
P1M by putting together components 
from various publishers to create an 
application with just the features and 
functionality you need. 

OLE also contains its own built-in 
file system, and in the future files may 
be replaced by OLE objects. These 
OLE files will know about themselves, 
and they'll know how to communicate 
with other OLE objects. They'll be 
able to export themselves in various 
formats and make information about 
themselves public. 

In fact, it may not be long before 
everything on your Windows desk- 
top is an OLE object. When this hap- 
pens, well have a really intelligent 
operating system. I just hope the 
price of RAM goes down then, so 
OLE objects will have enough room 
to think. 

drag, you copy data from the server to 
the container. If you want to move 
data, simply drag it, or hold down the 
Shift key and drag.) 

It's worth noting that when you 

drag and drop, the selection doesn't 
go through the Clipboard, so you 
can't paste another copy somewhere 
else without either dragging and drop- 
ping again or going through copying 

and pasting with the Clipboard. 

You can edit the object you've used 
drag and drop to embed the same 
way you would edit any other embed- 
ded object: by double-clicking on it. 

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Now that you understand the differ- 
ences between pasting, linking, and 
embedding, you may be wondering 
about the benefits of one versus 
another. Here are some guidelines. 

If the object is very large, link it. In a 
linked object, the object's data stays in 
the original file, so it doesn't increase 
the container document's size. 

If the original file will change over 
time, and you want the changes to be 
reflected in the object, link the object. 
Since a linked object's data stays in 
only one place— the file — the contain- 
er's link always reflects the latest ver- 
sion of the file. 

If the file is used in several places, 
and it needs to display the same data 
in each place, link the object. 

If the object needs to be transferred 
and read by someone who doesn't have 
access to the original file, embed the 
object. When you embed an object, the 
container gets a complete copy of the 
object's data. 

If there will never be a need to edit 
the object again with its creator, sim- 
ply paste it. 

Linking is often more useful than 
embedding. The downside with linking 
is that, if the linked file moves, your link 
is broken and must be repaired. Since 
an embedded object becomes part of 
the container document, you never 
have to worry about broken links. 

OLE Automation 

One of the most exciting things about 
the new OLE specification is OLE 
automation, which lets you use one 
program to control objects in another 
program. Visual Basic and Excel's 
built-in Visual Basic for 
Applications are both OLE 
automation drivers. They can't 
control just any program, 
however. The programs 
you control must be writ- 
ten in such a way that 
certain features are 
exposed to other 
applications . 
Each OLE ap 
plication must 
whether it 
will sup- 

which of its functions it will make avail- 
able to other applications. 

At the time of this writing, very few 
programs support OLE automation, 
but this is bound to change. 

OLE Servers and Containers 

Now you're probably ready to try some 
linking and embedding yourself. You 
may be surprised at the number of 
OLE applications already on your sys- 
tem. Unless you have recent versions 
of Word, Excel, CorelDRAW!, and a 
handful of others, these are probably 
OLE 1.0 apps, but OLE 1.0 is still use- 
ful, and the two versions of OLE work 
together without conflict. 

To find the OLE servers you have 
installed on your system, run Windows 
Write (or any application that's an 
OLE 1.0 or 2.0 container) and 
select Edit, Insert Object. You'll 
see a dialog box with a scrolling 
list of all your OLE servers 
The list will include both 
OLE 1.0 and OLE 2.0 
servers, but the two are 
completely compat 
ible. With OLE 1.0 
you can do most 
of the things you 
can with OLE 
2.0, except 
visual edit- 
ing, drag 

When you look at this list, you 
may also discover that you have 
several servers listed that 
you've removed from your 
hard disk. How do you 
remove these from the 
list? It's relatively easy. 
This list comes from 
something called 
the Registration 
When an 
OLE 1.0 
or 2.0 
a p - 


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cation runs for the first time, it regis- 
ters itself in the database so other 
apps can find it. 

To delete an entry in the 
database, run the Reg- 
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Program Manager or 
File Manager, typ- 
ing regedit.exe in 
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Line box, and 
Look in 
h e 

istration Database's list box to find the 
application you want to delete. Then 
select it and choose Edit, Delete File 
Type from the menu. 

While it's fairly easy to find all the 
OLE servers on your system, there's no 
one place you can look to see all the 
OLE containers. However, any applica- 
tion that has an Insert Object menu 
option is almost certainly a container. 

To find out if your application sup- 
ports OLE drag and drop, simply try it. 
As for OLE automation, you'll have to 
check out the application's documen- 
tation to see whether that feature is 
supported and if it's supported, which 
of its functions are available. 

Building OLE 2.0 Apps 

Creating OLE applications used to be 
a programmer's nightmare. The OLE 
2.0 API (Application Program 
Interface) is huge, and there are lit- 
erally thousands of details to 
keep track of. But two program- 
ming tools have changed the 
nightmarish aspects of OLE 
programming. The first is 
Visual C + + 1.5. This 
version of Microsoft's 
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development envi- 
ronment adds 
OLE classes 
to MFC (Mi- 
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Classes), and it adds OLE creation to 
App Wizard. Creating a container, full 
server, or miniserver is almost as easy 
as choosing these options from the 
App Wizard dialog. 

The second programming lan- 
guage that's made OLE 2.0 
approachable is Visual Basic 3.0. With 
it, you can create OLE 2.0 containers 
and use automation. (There's no sup- 
port for creating servers, however.) If 
you want to start experimenting with 
creating OLE 2.0 applications, Visual 
Basic 3.0 is the place to go. Its docu- 
mentation also contains an excellent 
overview of OLE 2.0. 

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly 

We've seen a lot of the benefits of OLE, 
but there's a downside, too. There are 
three primary disadvantages to OLE: 
broken links, large files, and big mem- 
ory requirements. 

Broken links occur when you move a 
linked file. If this happens, most con- 
tainers have a way for you to manually 
repair the link, but it's a pain. The next 
version of OLE should do a better job 
of tracking links. 

If you embed objects, your files 
can quickly become huge — easily 
several megabytes. Not only do these 
files take up lots of disk space, but 
they eat up RAM as well when you're 
working with them. 

And speaking of RAM, when you edit 
an OLE object and run its server, both 
container and server must be running at 
the same time. With programs the size 
of Word and Excel, I'd consider 8MB of 
memory a minimum to accomplish this. 

But the dramatic benefits of OLE 
really overshadow these problems. In 
the final analysis, OLE is the most 
powerful way to share data be- 
tween applications today. And 
since you're going to be see- 
ing more and more applica- 
tions that offer OLE fea- 
tures in the future, now's 
the time to take the bull 
by the horns and 
begin linking, em- 
bedding, drag- 
ging and drop- 
ping, visual 
editing, and 
ing. □ 

2 CD'S for 

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We want COMPUTE to be as useful and interesting as possible and to provide you with the coverage you want. 
Please help us by taking a moment to fill out and send us this questionnaire. You can mail the completed ques- 
tionnaire to us (photocopies are fine) or fax it. Send to COMPUTE Readership Survey, 324 West Wendover 
Avenue, Suite. 200, Greensboro, North Carolina 27408; (910) 275-9837 (fax). 

What computers) do you own or 
plan to buy? 

Own to Buy 

8088/8086, brand 

80286, brand 

80386, brand 

80486, brand 

Pentium, brand 




Notebook/laptop, brand- 
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Game system, brand 


Which video display system(s) do 
you use? 

□ Monochrome 

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Which peripheral(s) do you own or 
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Own to Buy 

□ □ 5 1 /4-inch disk drive 

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□ □ Mouse 

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□ □ Tape backup system 

How much memory does your 
computer have? 

Q 640Korless 

□ 1MB 

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□ 16MB or more 

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J COMPUTE'S Getting Started With 

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Which of the following computer- 
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□ How to upgrade your PC 

□ Integrated software 

□ Local area networks (LANs) 

□ Money management 

□ Multimedia 

□ New computer technologies 

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□ Pen computing 

□ Programming 





Word processing 


Where do you use your PC? 

□ Home 

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Where did you get this copy of 

□ Subscription 

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□ Less than two years 

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If you have a modem, which 
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Q America Online 

□ BIX 

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□ GEnie 

□ Internet 

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□ Other 





I* C7^ 

j; a 

■.;<•« • 

An ORIGIN Interactive Movie 


tripped of memory, artificially enhanced with both human and alien tech- 
I nology, you are intended to be the perfect untraceable assassin for the 
' scheming Mondite's master-stroke. 

But it's more than a science-fiction computer game - it's an ORIGIN Interactive 
Movie. We've made a movie for you to star in, not just another game to play, 
Your interaction advances the story as you take 
your animated 3-D synthetic "actor" through a 
dramatic action-packed adventure. 

IK V£ : l 

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n «? 

Copynghi © 1994 ORIGIN Systems, Inc. BloForge and ORIGIN in/tefacuve Mows a«! trademarks or ORIGIN Systems, Inc. Ong.m and We c/eate worlds are 
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Before you can log on to 
any of the online services 
we're going to discuss in 
this Getting Started with 
Online Communications 
section, you've got to equip 
your PC with an appropriate 
modem. In today's market 
it's hard to buy a bad 
modem, but you'll be more 
comfortable choosing a 
modem with just a little 
basic information under 
your belt. (Incidentally, any 
modem you buy today will 
most likely be a fax/data 
modem; for simplicity's 
sake, we'll just call them 

Even if you already have 
a modem, if it runs at 1200 
bps or 2400 bps, you may 
well want to upgrade to a 
faster model. Prices are low 
(some under $200) for 
14.4K-bps models, which 
will soon be old technology. 

Speed Kills, Doesn't It? 

Why would you need extra 
speed? As speeds double 
or quadruple, your online 
time is cut by the same mul- 
tiple—or is it? Aside from 
the technical truth that noisy 
lines and other physical fac- 
tors often slow the effective 
speeds, you'll quickly real- 
ize that except for down- 
loading files, only a small 
fraction of your connect 
time is spent actually pass- 
ing data — at any speed. 
Instead, you're dealing with 
menus, reading screens of 
information, typing respons- 
es, and doing similar tasks 
while the modem sits idly 
by, waiting for you to initiate 
the next tiny spurt of data. 

However, when upload- 
ing, downloading, and 
working with the graphical 
services (which have to 
send large quantities of 
data to paint a single 

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screen), the modem's 
speed is critical and will 
indeed save you significant 
time and money. 

The Jargon Jungle 

Modem ads and reviews 
are full of exotic technical 
terms such as V.32bis, 
which is the current stan- 
dard for 14.4K-bps trans- 
mission. Don't concern 
yourself with the lower V-dot 
numbers; they're history. 
Other current standards 
include V.42bis data com- 
pression and MNP-3 error 
correction, both of which 
are good to have. 

You're going to see ref- 
erences to V.34 standards 
for 28.8K-bps speeds, also 

known as V.FAST or 
V. TURBO. The international 
committee that issues these 
standards hasn't yet agreed 
upon and issued specifica- 
tions for V.34 and its 28.8K- 
bps speed. Yet vendors are 
selling V.FAST modems 
right now. What's going on? 
These vendors, which 
include the big names, are 
confident that their imple- 
mentation of the proposed 
standard will end up work- 
ing with the final standard. 
Right now, however, don't 
expect to use 28.8K-bps 
transmission unless you're 
sending to another modem 
from the same manufactur- 
er. A clean phone line and a 
rabbit's foot will help, too. 

The online services will 
eventually support this high- 
er speed, but they're just 
now taking their first hesitant 
steps into 14.4K-bps lines. 

Both U.S. Robotics and 
Supra are dealing with the 
uncertainty of the unissued 
standard by guaranteeing a 
V.FAST upgrade for some 
of their 14.4K-bps and 
21.6K-bps modems. 


We don't have the space 
this time around to test 
modems and make specific 
recommendations, but we 
can tell you that all of the 
major modem manufactur- 
ers are selling quality prod- 
ucts. Your purchase deci- 
sion will depend on fea- 
tures, price, availability, and 
software bundles. You can 
count on modems by 
Hayes, U.S. Robotics, 
Practical Peripherals, 
Supra, and any of a dozen 
or more other leading 
modem makers to be reli- 
able, good performers. 

—Richard O. Mann 


Choosing among the 
national networks can be 
difficult. The services range 
from tightly focused to 
almost unimaginably vast 
ranges of information and 
communication resources. 
You can run up hefty bills 
and deplete your stores of 
time and energy just learn- 
ing your way around a ser- 
vice, only to find that it 
wasn't quite what you had 
in mind. 

We'll survey six online 
services for consumers and 
small businesses — America 
Online, CompuServe, DEL- 
PHI, GEnie, the ImagiNation 
Network, and Prodigy — and 
give you the flavor of each. 
We'll save our discussion of 




the Internet, a vastly differ- 
ent animal, for a separate 
article later in this section. 
Before we start our survey, 
however, let's go over a few 
basic principles you'll need 
to understand in making 
this choice. You'll also find 
helpful advice on these 
matters in the subsequent 
article, "20 Top Online Tips 
and Hints." 

Count the cost. These 
services are not cheap, so 
be sure you weigh the hourly 
fees and surcharges for spe- 
cial services as you choose 
your primary network. 

Review the range of cov- 
erage. Each service has its 
own specialties and areas 
where coverage is particu- 
larly deep. Find the service 
that best matches your 
needs and interests. Each 
service has a targeted user; 
find the service that's tar- 
geting you. 

Select the interface that 
works for you. Prodigy and 
America Online use graphi- 
cal interfaces, working with 
mouse clicks on buttons 
and menus. GEnie and DEL- 
PHI are still text-only ser- 
vices — which can be much 
quicker than their GUI- 
based cousins. (GEnie has 
a Windows interface due 
any day.) CompuServe's 
native mode is pure text, but 
both DOS and Windows 
front ends are available to 
make it mouse-friendly. 

And finally, consider 
using the service used by 
most of the others in your 
family, neighborhood, 
national hobby community, 
or business. You can't use 
E-mail effectively, for 
instance, if no one you 
know is on that network. 

America Online 

AOL is a consumer service 
that's growing so explosive- 
ly that it briefly overbur- 
dened its computing and 


phone resources earlier this 
year. Its extensively adver- 
tised free trial period pulls a 
high response. Membership 
now exceeds 700,000. 

AOL's Windows interface 
makes it the cleanest and 
easiest to use of all the ser- 
vices. It has the normal set 

but AOL has plans to 
expand its Internet links. 

On the surface AOL is 
excellent, but it falls short of 
CompuServe or GEnie in 
depth of information re- 
sources available for seri- 
ous research. 

America Online charges 

DELPHI offers full access to the Internet. 

of hobby and special inter- 
est forums, along with a 
respectable number of 
hardware and software sup- 
port groups. It's particularly 
strong in electronic versions 
of popular newsstand publi- 
cations, including COM- 
PUTE, Omni, Time, Wired, 
Saturday Review, Atlantic 
Monthly, USA Today, and 
other major magazines and 
newspapers. (You can read 
this article on AOL, along 
with over 50 of my previous 
efforts — all my relatives like 
AOL) Magazine editors and 
staffers are often available 
online to answer questions. 
E-mail is unlimited and 
easy to use. AOL is con- 
nected with the Internet 
such that you can send and 
receive E-mail simply by 
addressing it, without jump- 
ing through the hoops that 
most other services require 
for Internet connections. 
(When you see an E-mail 
address that ends 
@aol r com, it's that of an 
AOL user.) Internet access 
is currently limited to E-mail, 

$9.95 per month for five free 
hours, with additional hours 
billed at $3.50. Call AOL in 
Vienna, Virginia, at (800) 

Information Service 

One of the oldest of the online 
services, CompuServe caters 
to the business user but has 
plenty to offer the home user 
as well. Just about everyone 
who's online has a 
CompuServe account; there 
are 1 .7 million subscribers. 

CompuServe's strength 
is its mass of raw informa- 
tion and wide range of 
forums and special interest 
groups. A full range of busi- 
ness databases is avail- 
able, from Dialog and 
Knowledge Base (both with 
surcharges) to Phone*File, 
a national telephone direc- 
tory. National weather ser- 
vices and the AP and 
Reuters wire services head 
the news offerings, which 
are supported by the full 
text of over 60 newspapers. 

Over 400 hardware and 

software vendors run forums 
on CompuServe, where you 
can ask questions both of 
vendor personnel and of 
other users. Updated dri- 
vers, program patches, and 
other files are routinely post- 
ed on CompuServe for 
users to download. No other 
service has as many down- 
loadable file libraries, where 
virtually all shareware and 
freeware programs are 

You can interface 
CompuServe Mail with MCI 
Mail and the Internet and 
also send faxes or even 
postal mail through the ser- 
vice. You can reach almost 
anyone who's online through 
CompuServe's mail facility. 

CompuServe's natural 
interface is bare ASCII text, 
but several front-end pro- 
grams are available to both 
improve the interface and let 
you work with forums and E- 
mail offline to save money. 
WinCIM (CompuServe 
Information Manager for 
Windows) translates the ser- 
vice to Windows nicely. 

Earlier this year, Compu- 
Serve's rates decreased 
about 40 percent to $8.95 
per month for 60 basic ser- 
vices plus $9.60 per hour 
for extended services 
(including the forums). 
CompuServe is located in 
Columbus, Ohio, and can 
be reached at (800) 848- 


This is a smaller text-based 
service primarily for busi- 
ness users and computer 
hobbyists that has found its 
own extremely popular 
niche: the Internet. DELPHI 
provides full Internet access 
for $3 a month over its 
basic fees. The other ser- 
vices here provide only E- 
mail access to the Internet, 
but with DELPHI you're into 
the whole massive net. 


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Prior to the Internet 
boom, DELPHI struggled 
along as the home of com- 
puter nuts comparing notes 
on PC topics. Today, it's 
used primarily for Internet 
access and is the home of a 
large forum devoted to help- 
ing novices learn how to get 
into and use the Internet. 

In addition, DELPHI pro- 
vides access to the stan- 
dard business databases at 
rates comparable to those 
of the other services. It has 
the usual assortment of 
forums and software li- 
braries, but they're less 
extensive than those of 
GEnie or CompuServe. 

DELPHI charges a $19 
enrollment fee. After the 
free five-hour sign-up bonus 
period, monthly fees kick in 
through one of two plans. 
The 10/4 plan is $10.00 per 
month for four hours with 
additional hours at $4.00 
each. The 20/20 plan is 
$20.00 per month for 20 
hours with additional hours 
at $1 .80 each. (As men- 
tioned above, Internet 
access is $3.00 per month 
above these base fees.) 
You can reach DELPHI in 
Cambridge, Massachusetts, 
at (800) 695-4005. 


Our next service, GEnie, or 
the General Electric Infor- 
mation Service (hence the 
capital GE), offers its 
400,000 subscribers the 
speed of a zippy, bare 
ASCII-text interface and 
access to a wide range of 
business databases and 
forums. Its forums and dis- 
cussion groups are not as 
extensive or well populated 
as those on CompuServe, 
but it has a stronger feeling 
of community and neighbor- 
hood. Although I frequent 
the writers' areas on all the 
services, for example, only 
on GEnie do I have a strong 

feeling of friendship with the 
dozens of writers that fre- 
quent the area. 

GEnie has a strong 
selection of online games 
as well as a robust forum for 
gamers. Science-fiction 
fans and writers know that 
GEnie's SF RoundTables 

communications program to 
log on to GEnie. 

A new interface pro- 
gram, called GEnie for 
Windows, should be ship- 
ping any day now and will 
probably be available by 
the time you read this. 

GEnie runs $8.95 a 

GEnie offers a strong sense of commmunity and neighborhood. 

are the home of the SF 
online community. 

Business users and 
researchers appreciate 
GEnie's extensive connec- 
tions to the major commercial 
databases, though the sur- 
charges can be frightening. 
The GEnie NewsStand offers 
full text of over 900 publica- 
tions, including most of the 
major newspapers in the 
country and nearly all maga- 
zines of consequence — but 
the cost runs from $2.50 to 
$29.00 per search. 

On the other hand, 
GEnie's basic rates include 
access to Reuters and 
Newsbytes newswires and 
a healthy set of investment 
analysis tools. 

The interface is simple 
text, but you will need more 
than a few minutes to pick 
up the commands neces- 
sary to navigate the forums 
and libraries. The payoff of 
learning the commands — 
and learning them is not as 
difficult as it seems at first- 
is well worth the effort. You'll 
need a simple modem 

month for four hours, with 
additional off-peak hours at 
$3.00 each. Users in smaller 
cities may be charged an 
additional $2.00 per hour for 
access through a premium 
phone carrier. You can 
reach GEnie in Rockville, 
Maryland, at (800) 638-8369. 

Prodigy Interactive 
Personal Service 

A high-profile joint venture of 
Sears Roebuck and IBM, 
Prodigy uses its highly 
graphical interface and 
strong variety of consumer 
services to attract an amaz- 
ing 2 million users in 1 mil- 
lion households. Prodigy is a 
family- and home-oriented 
service that runs commercial 
advertising across the bot- 
tom of every screen. Some 
find the ads distracting, but 
it's surprising how often the 
ads and the screens they 
lead to will provide useful 
consumer information. 

Prodigy was originally 
designed to deliver informa- 
tion, not to provide communi- 
cations services. Users insist- 

ed, however, and now the ser- 
vice provides E-mail and bul- 
letin boards. Both, however, 
are harder to use than those 
of the other services. 

Consumer information 
available on Prodigy 
includes up-to-the-minute 
news, weather, and sports, 
with full-color photos in the 
Windows version. Kids' fea- 
tures include clubs and 
games as well an updated 
encyclopedia. Reference 
materials include Con- 
sumer Reports, the Mobil 
Travel Guide, a massive 
online cookbook, city 
guides, a movie guide, and 
daily television listings for 41 
major networks. 

Pricing is a little complex, 
involving two basic plans 
after the original software 
purchase and sign-up fee of 
$29.95. For $14.95 a month, 
you get the basic features, 
as well as two hours of spe- 
cial features: bulletin boards, 
EAASY Sabre airline reser- 
vations, Dow Jones Com- 
pany News, and daytime 
stock quotes. Additional 
hours of these special fea- 
tures are $3.60 each. A sec- 
ond plan offers 25 hours of 
any features for $29.95 per 
month with additional hours 
at $1.20 each. Prodigy is 
located in White Plains, New 
York, and can be reached at 
(800) PRODIGY. 

The Imagination 

This online service is a dif- 
ferent beast entirely from 
the others examined here. 
The ImagiNation Network 
(INN) exists for playing 
games and socializing. No 
news, no databases, no 
files to download, although 
INN does provide E-mail. 
The brainchild of the game- 
designing wizards at Sierra 
On-Line, the producer of 
dozens of best-selling 
games (including the leg- 



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endary King's Quest and 
Leisure Suit Larry series), 
INN brings a new dimen- 
sion to computer games— 
you play them with real 

Logging on to INN, you'll 
see an aerial view of the 
ImagiNati'on, which contains 
the Town Hall, the ClubHouse 
(card and board games), 
SierraLand (action-arcade 
games), MedievaLand (fanta- 
sy role-playing games), 
CasinoLand (casino games 
for adults only), and the 
SchoolHouse (educational 

As you enter a land for 
the first time, you use the 
FaceMaker software to 
select features (nose, eyes, 
hair, clothing, and so on) for 
your cartoon picture that's 
used onscreen to represent 
you to the others you'll 

Go into the waiting room 
and get together with oth- 
ers there to form a new 
game. Bridge, hearts, 
backgammon, role-playing 
games, miniature golf, and 
other games are available. 
The graphics will be famil- 
iar to anyone who's played 
Sierra games. You can also 
chat, send E-mail, and gen- 
erally partake of this virtual 

The ImagiNation Network 
costs $5.95 for the sign-up 
software and 5 hours of 
connect time. After that, you 
can pay $9.95 per month 
for 5 hours, $49.95 for 25 
hours, or $99.95 for 50 
hours. Additional hours are 
$3.50 each. Contact INN in 
Oakhurst, California, at 800- 

—Richard 0. Mann 


The Internet seems to be 
almost a myth or legend. 


In fact, it's the closest 
thing we currently have to 
a true information super- 
highway. It connects 15 to 
17 million users in 125 or 
more countries around the 
world on a bewildering 
array of 1 million or more 
individual computers of 

Individuals and small 
companies most frequently 
connect through paid ser- 
vice providers, DELPHI 
being the most well known 
national provider. If you live 
in a large city, you may be 
able to find a less expen- 
sive local provider. 

Prodigy excels in delivering news and consumer information. 

every type imaginable. 

It has grown from a loose 
confederation of government 
and research computers 20 
years ago to today's 
ungoverned interconnection 
of computer resources. 
Nobody owns, operates, or 
controls the Internet, although 
the volunteer-staffed Internet 
Society tries to encourage the 
net to move in appropriate 

How Can I Hook Up to 
the Internet? 

Access to the Internet can 
be hard to line up. 
University, government, and 
some large corporations' 
employees can often wran- 
gle a direct (hard-wired) 
connection to the Internet 
through a local network. If 
you can accomplish this, 
you'll have a freer access to 
net features than with a dial- 
up connection. 

What's Out There on 
the Internet? 

Aside from the ability to E- 
mail to 17 million people, 
you also have access to 
millions of files stored on 
networked computers, over 
4000 specialized discus- 
sion groups, global news 
almost the instant it's writ- 
ten, and a bewildering array 
of databases and other 
information sources. (Want 
to search the Library of 
Congress catalog? It's 
there.) The question isn't 
whether the data you need 
is on the net — it's whether 
you'll be able to find it and 
get at it. 

The discussion groups, 
called newsgroups on the 
Usenet, vary from the sub- 
lime {rec. music. classical. gui- 
tar for classical guitar music) 
to the outrageous 
(alt. cows. moo. moo. moo for, 
you know, cow noises). If 

you're interested in it, there's 
a Usenet newsgroup about it 
with discussion from all over 
the globe. 

How Hard is It to Use 
the Internet? 

Look at it this way: If 17 mil- 
lion people are using it, how 
hard can it be? Unfortu- 
nately, it's downright diffi- 
cult. Not impossible — just 
difficult. It uses a UNIX 
command system that's 
cryptic at best. There's no 
online help or any other 
recognition of the fact that 
everyone there doesn't 
already know exactly what 
he or she is doing. 

The best way to learn the 
arcane lingo of the net is to 
buy a book that teaches 
you the ins and outs of the 
net. I contacted the publi- 
cists of two publishers, 
asked if they had any 
Internet titles, and immedi- 
ately received 15 books — 
as popular as the Internet is 
right now, there's no short- 
age of published assis- 
tance. Of the 15 titles, Zen 
and the Art of the Internet: A 
Beginner's Guide by 
Brendan Kehoe (PTR 
Prentice Hall, 515-284- 
6751) is the most succinct 
and interesting. The 
Complete Idiot's Guide to 
the Internet by Peter Kent 
(Alpha Books, 800-428- 
5331) offers layman's-level 
instruction in an amusing 
setting, along with a disk of 
files listing Usenet news- 
groups and other resources 
that would be too bulky to 
print in the book. Michael 
Fraase's The PC Internet 
Tour Guide and The 
Windows Internet Tour 
Guide (Ventana Press, 800- 
743-5369) are entertainingly 
light reading with keystroke- 
by-keystroke instructions for 
basic Internet functions and 
disks containing programs 
that ease net navigation. 

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Phone ( ) 




You might also take a look 
at netguide: What's on in 
Cyberspace! (Random 
House, 800-733-3000, 
$19.00) and The Whole 
Internet User's Guide and 
Catalog (O'Reilly & 
Associates, 800-998-9938, 

Should I Sign Up? 

If you're toying with the idea 
of getting an Internet 
account, buying one of 
these books will show you 
right away if the net is a 
place you're going to like. If 
you're willing to put the 
effort into it, the Internet can 
be a rewarding adventure. 
—Richard O. Mann 


(America Online) 

America Online's News- 
stand contains an electronic 
version of COMPUTE, 
including the full text of the 
articles and reviews for a 
year or so back. In addition, 
there are files for download- 
ing that have been featured 
in the magazine's share- 
ware columns and a robust 
message area. 

Among the message 
topics are Ask the Experts, 
Talk to the Editors, and a 
variety of hardware and 
software topics. The Talk to 
the Editors topic is a lot of 
fun — it transforms the print- 
ed COMPUTE into an inter- 
active medium where you 
can immediately go online 
with questions and com- 
ments for the editors (and 
many of the writers). 

To become a participant 
in this magazine, drop by 
the COMPUTE forum on 
AOL. And if you need a 
copy of an article or review 
you remember from a 
recent issue, it's there on 
AOL, waiting to be down- 
loaded and printed. Drop 


by— the editors and writers 

would love to see you there. 

— Richard O. Mann 

Entertainment Drive 

It's billed as a "backstage 
pass to the entertainment 
industry." That pretty well 
describes E-Drive's wealth of 
information about movies, 
television, music, and the- 
ater — much of it direct from 
the movie studios, television 
networks, recording studios, 
and other entertainment com- 
panies. You'll find GIF files 
from recent film productions, 
up-to-date schedules for top 
cable channels, and the lat- 
est gossip from Hollywood 
columnists Marilyn Beck and 
Stacy Jenel Smith. 

By browsing the libraries, 
you might learn how the 
Corporation for Public 
Broadcasting funds PBS 
and NPR, read trial sum- 
maries from the upcoming 
week on Court TV, chuckle 
at David Letterman's Top 10 
lists going back to February 
17, check out MGM's 
planned film releases for the 
rest of the year, and down- 
load the cover art for many 
recent hit albums. 

There's also an active 
message area with intelli- 
gent and often highly opin- 
ionated discussions on 
such hot topics as how the 
cast of "Star Trek: Deep 
Space Nine" is developing 
and what we might expect 
from the new Turner Classic 
Movies channel. 

In short, E-Drive is the 
latest hot ticket for anyone 
who wants to closely follow 
the entertainment industry 
or make better-informed 
entertainment choices. 

—David English 

Executive News 
Service (CompuServe) 

I admit it: I'm a news junkie. 
I don't feel right unless I've 

seen the daily newspaper 
or watched the evening 
news. Something may have 
happened since yesterday, 
and I need to know about it. 

If you're similarly afflicted, 
check out Executive News 
Service on CompuServe 
(type GO ENS). You can 
configure ENS to match your 
interests and have the sys- 
tem search through thou- 
sands of news reports while 
you're offline. ENS currently 
scans 20 news services, 
including AP Financial, 
Reuters World Report, UPI 
Sports, The Washington 
Post, and OTC NewsAlert. 

In addition to the public 
folders provided by 
CompuServe, you can set 
up three personal folders 
with as many as seven 
search criteria for each fold- 
er. For example, if you set a 
single search criterion 
(such as computer) and 
choose all 20 news ser- 
vices, you'll fill your folder to 
its capacity of 500 news 
stories in a matter of a day 
or two. On the other hand, if 
you choose several narrow 
criteria, such as program- 
ming, Windows utilities, and 
icons, while selecting only a 
few of the news services, it 
may take several weeks to 
fill your folder. 

One word of warning: To 
use the Executive News 
Service, you must pay a 
$15-per-hour surcharge on 
top of CompuServe's base 
connect rates. And to cre- 
ate personal folders, you 
must become an Executive 
Option subscriber. 

—David English 

The Fiction Workshop 
(America Online) 

This is a plug for a writers' 
workshop operated by my 
friend Mesotron (that's his 
screen name). Each week, 
a member of the workshop 
submits a story or a piece 

of writing. The writing is E- 
mailed to each of the other 
members of the group a few 
days in advance of the 
workshop. Each member 
can write a critique (includ- 
ing suggestions for improv- 
ing the writing), which is E- 
mailed to all the members. 
That's a lot of E-mail. And 
often new rounds of E-mail 
will be initiated by some 
statement in the criticism. 

At 10:00 on Wednesday 
nights, the group meets in 
the chat area in the Writers 
Club (just press Ctrl-K, type 
writers in the dialog box that 
appears, press Enter, and 
then double-click on the 
text Chat Area in the What 
You Can Select column). 

In the actual workshop, 
the discussion is carefully 
controlled to prevent chaos. 
There are a lot of excellent 
writers in the group, but the 
range of experience among 
the writers runs from amateur 
to professional, so no one 
need fear entering the dis- 
cussion. If you're interested 
in how fiction is created (or in 
creating better fiction of your 
own), the Fiction Workshop 
is the place to start. 

— Robert Bixby 

Genealogy Bulletin 
Board (Prodigy) 

The Genealogy Bulletin 
Board on Prodigy takes 
advantage of that service's 
massive user base to put 
people with questions 
together with those who have 
answers. Genealogy — the 
study of the history of fami- 
lies and tracing of ances- 
tors—is one of the fastest- 
growing hobbies in the 
world. Finding ancestors is a 
tough job, though, because 
it always involves searching 
records in distant places, 
often in other countries. 

Using the Genealogy BB, 
you can post specific ques- 
tions on topics that usually 



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specify locations. You might 
post a query saying you had 
family in Jackson County, 
Kentucky, in 1812 and won- 
der what reference sources 
are available. Chances are 
good that someone among 
the thousands who monitor 
this board will have useful 
information, which they can 
quickly post or E-mail to you. 

The staff of the Family 
History Library of the 
Church of Jesus Christ of 
Latter-day Saints in Salt 
Lake City— one of the 
world's largest repositories 
of genealogical informa- 
tion—monitors this topic 
and posts answers to gen- 
eral questions. They report 
a positive response rate of 
better than 33 percent to 
questions posted here by 
Library patrons. 

This terrific resource is 
helping hundreds of people 
every day. 

—Richard O. Mann 

Morningstar (America 

Most small investors prefer 
buying mutual funds to buy- 
ing individual stocks. But 
with thousands of mutual 
funds to choose from, how 
do you know which ones are 
best for you? Help is avail- 
able online from Morning- 
star, the best known and 
most respected of the many 
mutual fund rating services. 
While .the coverage of the 
online version of Morning- 
star Mutual Funds (keyword: 
Morningstar) isn't as com- 
plete as the coverage found 
in its many publications, 
you'll find a great deal of 
information about many of 
the 3400 mutual funds that 
Morningstar tracks. 

For example, you can 
search the database of mutu- 
al funds by fund family name 
or even by the fund manag- 
er's name. Additionally, you 
can browse articles by indi- 


vidual fund name, fund type 
(such as Aggressive Growth 
or Specialty-Technology), or 
Top 25 list (such as Top 25 
Overall Mutual Funds or Top 
25 Balanced Funds- 
Ranked by 1-Year Return). 

The screen for each 
fund includes the fund's 


ers everything but program- 
ming, while the Microsoft 
Developer's Knowledge 
Base (type GO MDKB) cov- 
ers programming topics only. 
The Microsoft Knowledge 
Base is a master database 
of information about 
Windows, DOS, and all other 




B.<ktpc SwicM 

|nwftBM)te Qflforanc* 

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^g Science/Technology 

En<pwanigA*aMtionFoTM«X*F| • 
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You have 30 reafl messages wtWna 

CompuServe's strength is its mass of information. 

basic goals and rules of 
operation; performance for 
the past one month, three 
months, one year, five 
years, and ten years; a rel- 
ative risk rating; fee infor- 
mation (including front-end 
and hidden sales charges); 
minimum purchase; con- 
tact information; and over- 
all rating. Morningstar 
updates the data once 
each month. 

If you own one or more 
mutual funds, check out 
Morningstar Mutual Funds on 
AOL and see how well your 
investments are really doing. 
—David English 

Microsoft Knowledge 
Bases (CompuServe) 

For up-to-date information on 
computing, you can't beat 
Microsoft's two Knowledge 
Bases on CompuServe. The 
first area, known simply as 
the Microsoft Knowledge 
Base (type GO MSKB), cov- 

Microsoft products. Every 
time Microsoft's support staff 
encounters an important 
problem, solution, or work- 
around, it documents it in 
the Knowledge Base. In the 
last three years, the 
Knowledge Base has turned 
into a vast repository of more 
than 30,000 tips, shortcuts, 
and secrets concerning 
almost everything you can 

The Developer's Know- 
ledge Base houses more 
than 16,000 articles on pro- 
gramming DOS and 
Windows using a variety of 
languages and tools, 
including C, C + + , MFC, 
Visual Basic, Access, 
FoxPro, and a few other 
more esoteric ones. 

I think of each 
Knowledge Base as my 
own personal problem 
solver and candy store. If, 
for example, I'm having 
trouble with a specific piece 

of hardware running under 
Windows, the Knowledge 
Base is the first place I look 
for help. And if I have some 
spare time and I want to 
find some tips on Windows 
programming, the Devel- 
oper's Knowledge Base is 
//ie place to go. 

—Clifton Karnes 

The New Republic 
(America Online] 

In high school, I developed 
a political bent. Ever since, 
I've loved discussing 
issues. But for whatever 
reason (perhaps it's my ten- 
dency to spit when I'm los- 
ing an argument), I've never 
been a debater. The online 
world is different from the 
face-to-face world, though. 
As long as I have plenty of 
Windex handy for cleaning 
stray spittle from my moni- 
tor, I can debate online until 
I'm blue in the face. 

My favorite hangouts on 
television are the political 
discussion programs on 
CNBC and CNN, and my 
favorite place to go on 
America Online is The New 
Republic. The New Repub- 
lic uploads controversial 
articles by such writers as 
Michael Kinsley and 
Andrew Sullivan (often seen 
on public affairs programs 
on television), along with 
film criticism and occasion- 
al humor pieces. These are 
fun and educational to read, 
but the real action is going 
on under the button marked 
TNR Issues Discussion. In 
the discussion area, serious 
thinkers (meaning me) mix 
with cranks and crackpots 
(meaning everyone else) in 
a lively, ongoing discussion 
of the news and principles 
that shape our nation. 

A word to the wise is in 
order, however: Strong lan- 
guage and flames are the 
rule rather than the excep- 
tion, so put on your cast- 

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iron boxing trunks before 
entering the ring. Be pre- 
pared to face fierce chal- 
lenges to all of your most 
fondly held preconceptions. 
— Robert Bixby 

News Room [America 

Most people enter the News 
Room (a public room under 
the People Connection on 
America Online) hoping for 
a discussion of the news, 
but generally the room is far 
too busy debating current 
events in depth to waste 
time on the headlines. It's 
hard to state a position (or 
challenge one) effectively in 
the single line of text 
allowed in the People 
Connection interface, but 
that's part of the fun. 
Typically, parallel discus- 
sions will be in progress on 
gun control, abortion, sepa- 
ration of church and state, 
and the latest twist in the 
Whitewater saga. Pick out 
the issue that most interests 
you and jump in. 

It's always a good idea 
to have an issue to discuss, 
just in case nothing interest- 
ing is happening when you 
arrive. My preference is to 
take a position that runs 
completely counter to com- 
mon sense and then defend 
it against all comers. 

Sometimes the discus- 
sion becomes more friend- 
ly, and during those lulls 
you might discover that the 
person with whom you 
were engaging in a hot 
debate only moments 
before is a real human 
being whose beliefs and 
concerns virtually mirror 
your own. If you can't find 
an interesting conversation 
in the News Room, you 
probably can in one of the 
Rush Rooms to be found in 
the Member Rooms sec- 
tion. (If there isn't a News 
Room or a Rush Room, 


create one, and opinionat- 
ed people will find you.) 

—Robert Bixby 

Technology News 
[America Online) 

One of my favorite online 
places is buried deep in 
America Online's internals. 
It's the Technology News 
section, which has up-to- 

a little. This is the best 
place I know of to find out 
what's going on in the com- 
puter world. 

— Clifton Karnes 

Windows Shareware 
Forum (CompuServe) 

I'm a shareware junkie, and 
the best place to find share- 
ware is CompuServe's 

The ImagiNation Network lets you socialize over a friendly game. 

the-minute news stories on 
technology in general and 
the computer business in 
particular. Although you 
can't go directly to 
Technology News, the path 
you take has some interest- 
ing scenery. 

First, you go to the News 
& Finance forum. As you 
might guess from the title, 
this area has all sorts of 
news, weather, sports, and 
business info, and it's defi- 
nitely worth browsing itself. 
Next, click on the 
Technology button, and 
you'll find yourself face to 
face with a listing of all the 
computer magazines online 
(including COMPUTE). 
Next, click on the 
Technology News button 
and you're there. You can 
browse through stories in 
the list box or search for 
stories using a keyword. I 
usually search for Microsoft 
or computer to focus the list 

Windows Shareware Forum 
(type GO WINSHARE). 
You'll see thousands of 
titles here in a variety of cat- 
egories. I used to check out 
the new listings once a 
week, and it took me about 
an hour to do it. Now I use 
CompuServe Navigator to 
automate the process and 
check the forum every day 
because it's so easy. 

The thing I really like 
about WinShare is that it 
contains the mother lode of 
Windows utilities. There are 
scores of file utilities, mem- 
ory and resource utilities, 
general Windows utilities, 
font utilities, disk utilities, 
and general utilities. In 
addition, WinShare has full- 
blown applications, includ- 
ing communications pro- 
grams, network apps, pro- 
gram manager replace- 
ments, business and 
finance programs, PIMs, 
and Windows NT programs. 

A huge, lively message 
base complements the file 
sections and keeps mem- 
bers on top of things. In 
short, if it's shareware, you'll 
find it here. 

—Clifton Karnes 

Writers Ink (GEnie) 

Writing is a lonely profes- 
sion, done (in my case) in 
the wee hours of the morn- 
ing when interruptions are 
rare. Yet writers feel a need 
to hang around with kindred 
spirits, to compare notes, 
commiserate over rejections, 
and rejoice over sales and 
successes. Professionals 
and wannabes alike enjoy 
being together. 

All the services have 
writers' areas, but Writers 
Ink (WINK) on GEnie is 
exceptional in its congenial 
feeling of friendship and 
community. I have many 
friends I enjoy meeting 
there every day or two, 
exchanging messages on 
the WINK bulletin board. 

WINK includes areas for 
poets, fiction writers, jour- 
nalists, scriptwriters, writers 
of young adult materials, 
and so forth. We upload 
drafts of stories and articles 
and offer critiques. We 
compare notes on editors, 
agents, and publishers. We 
help with each others' 
research, give advice on 
dealing with non-writer- 
friendly spouses and rela- 
tives, and talk about almost 

If you're interested in 
writing, WINK is the place 
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As you get started with the 
online services, there's a lot 
to learn. Here are 20 tips 
for selecting and learning 
to use the services, as well 


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as for avoiding problems. 
Let's make your first experi- 
ences positive. 

1. Buy a book. For what 
you'd pay for a sign-up kit, 
you can often get a full- 
scale book explaining the 
service and including both 
the necessary software (if 
any) and usage credit. 
You're going to need the 
book anyway; you might as 
well have it from the start. 

2. Get an offline reader. 
If you work with a lot of E- 
mail or forum (also known 
as bulletin board or club) 
messages, you'll save sig- 
nificant sums by using a 
front-end program that 
grabs material of interest off 
the network as quickly as 
possible. You read and 
respond to it offline, at your 
leisure. The program then 
posts your responses in 
another single, lightning- 
fast session. 

3. Disable call waiting. 
The breaking noise used to 
indicate an incoming call will 
throw your modem offline 
every time. Your phone com- 
pany has a way to temporar- 
ily disable call waiting (usu- 
ally by dialing *70). Use it 
every time you go online. 

4. Monitor your online 
time. An hour seems like a 
lot of online time, but hours 
slip by so fast you won't 
believe it. If you really get 
into the service, you can run 
up a hundred-dollar monthly 
bill in no time. And, since it's 
billed to your credit card, 
you won't know right away. 

5. Manage your costs. 
Know what you're paying 
and spend your money 
intelligently. For example, 
browse at the less expen- 
sive 2400-bps speed and 
download files at 9600 bps. 
(High-speed connect time 
is usually more expensive.) 

6. Learn online etiquette. 
There's an unwritten code 
of conduct online — it pays 


to know it. For instance, 
considered to be rude 
shouting (it's harder to 
read). Once you've learned 
the rules, be tolerant of 
newcomers as they learn 
the rules. 

7. Use E-mail effectively. 
Get E-mail addresses for 
your friends and relatives 
and use them. You get 
instant written communica- 
tions, often worldwide. You 
can usually send E-mail to 
users of other major ser- 
vices. Send longer docu- 
ments as files. (I file my arti- 
cles with my editors 
through CompuServe only 
minutes after I finish them. 
It's a full day faster than 
Federal Express — and 
much cheaper.) 

8. Audition the various 
services. Try the competing 
online services one at a 
time. The free sign-up 
bonuses usually give you 
enough time to discover 
how well you're going to like 
the service. Even though 
you may like your present 
service, how do you know 
that one of the others isn't 
even better? And give them 
another try every few 
years — they change quickly 
and dramatically. 

9. Don't give up too soon. 
It takes a while to get up to 
speed on even the best of 
the services. Give the ser- 
vice a fair chance and don't 
shy away from expending a 
little effort to really under- 
stand what's going on. 

10. Don't get in a rut. It's 
easy to get comfortable 
with the online areas that 
you found early on and stop 
exploring. Spend a little 
time periodically looking 
over new features of your 
service and looking for 
other fascinating areas you 
never previously suspected 
were there. 

1 1 . Learn the jargon and 

have fun. You'll encounter 
arcane symbols such as :) 
(which is a smiley face on 
its side) and acronyms 
such as LOL (Laughing Out 
Loud) and IMHO (In My 
Humble Opinion). Don't be 
afraid to ask — the old- 
timers enjoy enlightening 

12. Develop a thick skin. 
Unfortunately, people 
online lose some of their 
civilized inhibitions. 
Flamewars — angry dia- 
tribes and insulting behav- 
ior — pop up now and again 
on all the services. Learn to 
ignore boorish behavior. 

13. Develop family 
phone-use rules. Unless 
you can afford a separate 
line for the modem, no one 
can make or receive calls 
while you're online — which 
is often for hours. I never go 
online before 10 p.m., for 
example, except for short 
necessary sessions — and 
then I warn everyone so 
they won't knock me offline 
by picking up an extension 

14. Explore local bulletin 
board systems (BBSs). 
Every city has local BBSs 
that offer some of the same 
services as the national net- 
works at lower cost — some 
are even free. For file down- 
loading and random chat 
with a local flavor, a local 
BBS is often the best bet. 

15. Ferret out local com- 
mercial and public BBSs. 
Local public agencies 
(libraries and universities) 
and commercial entities 
(newspapers and television 
stations) often provide excel- 
lent services through BBSs. 
You might have to really dig 
to find the access numbers, 
but it's worth the effort. 

16. Monitor kids' usage. 
If your teenager learns how 
to download shareware 
games, he or she can run 
up staggering bills just hav- 

ing fun. Similarly, the online 
games, chat lines, and 
round tables can become 
all-consuming pastimes. 
Also watch out for unautho- 
rized access to "adults only" 
areas of the online services 
and use of the separate 
adult BBSs (which can be 
openly pornographic). 

17. Use the network for 
tech support. Hundreds of 
software and hardware ven- 
dors run forums on all the 
major services. Post your 
questions and problems 
online, and you'll get help 
from both the vendor and 
other users who've already 
beaten your problem. Also, 
monitoring other users' 
comments can help you 
prevent problems before 
they happen. 

18. Be specific when 
requesting computer help. 
Don't say you can't get the 
sound to work on your new 
game. Instead, explain 
exactly what hardware you 
have and how it's config- 
ured — then ask why it 
doesn't work and what to 
do about it. 

19. Write to your repre- 
sentative in the House — or 
write to the White House. 
Washington is online; you 
don't need to dig out your 
congressman's or congress- 
woman's address any 
more— just send him or her 
your comments instantly, 
online. The White House 
staff has a message area on 
several of the services, too. 

20. Step back and 
reevaluate things periodi- 
cally. Can you really afford 
the time and money you're 
spending online? I dearly 
love my writer friends in 
GEnie's Writers Ink area, 
but if I monitored every 
interesting discussion, I'd 
be spending three or four 
hours a night there — which 
just isn't reasonable. 

— Richard O. Mann □ 

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Have you tried to run a new multimedia appli- 
cation only to be told you don't have enough 
memory? Today's more demanding multime- 
dia applications and games are pushing the 
limits of your PC and grabbing every last bit of its mem- 
ory to perform their tricks. Some programs need all the 
conventional memory you can give them. Others require 
megabytes of extended memory to run properly. Others 
need megabytes of expanded memory. Even with 4MB, 
12MB, or 20MB of RAM, you can still run out of memory 
if your system doesn't optimize your 640K of conven- 
tional memory and you haven't set up your system to 
provide expanded and extended memory to 
the programs that need them. This 
month, I'll attempt to explain how 
these kinds of memory work and 
recommend some programs that 
can help you avoid the dread- 
ed multimedia memory bite. 
Generally, memory prob 
lems occur with DOS- 
based programs. Windows 
knows how to take any 
leftover memory and use 
it in the best way possi- 
ble. DOS programs, on 
the other hand, are still 
limited by the original 
640K that was allocated 
for programs with the first 
version of DOS and the 
original IBM PC— back 
when a 64K machine was 
considered fully configured 
Today's PCs usually have at 
least 4MB, so most CD-ROMs 
and games grab as much of the 
640K of conventional memory as they 
can and take the rest in the form of either 
expanded or extended memory. The expand- 
ed memory standard is a throwback to early attempts 
to move beyond the 640K limit. Few people actually buy 
expanded memory anymore, but there are many software 
methods that cause extended memory to mimic expand- 
ed memory. These methods generally involve using a pro- 
gram called a memory manager. 

Most memory problems occur at boot-up, when your 
CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files load a series of 
drivers. Problems can occur even when you use DOS 5's 
or DOS 6's own memory manager, called EMM386, to 
load some of these drivers into the memory area just 
above the 640K (this area is called upper memory or high 
memory). If you have DOS 6, you can use MemMaker to 

place each driver in the best position in order to save as 
much of your 640K as possible. It's not unusual for 
EMM386 and MemMaker to load 60K-100K of drivers 
entirely into upper memory, leaving you more than 600K 
for your DOS applications. Sometimes, though, 
MemMaker can't fit all the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle 
together and has to leave some of your drivers in conven- 
tional memory. Then you could end up with only 
540K-580K free, which isn't enough for many DOS pro- 
grams, especially multimedia programs and games. 
To load more of your drivers into upper memory, you can 
use one of the dedicated memory manager programs, 
such as QEMM 7 (Quarterdeck Office Systems, 
800-354-3222, $99.95), 386MAX 7 (Qualitas, 
800-733-1377, $99.95), or Netroom 3 
(Helix, 718-392-3100, $99.00). These 
programs go far beyond DOS's 
EMM386, not only loading your 
drivers into upper memory but 
performing such specialized 
tasks as loading your Video 
BIOS into extended memory. 
Of the three, I've had 
the best luck with 
Netroom, but I've talked to 
others who prefer either 
QEMM or 386MAX. Using 
Netroom, I've been able to 
load my multimedia dri- 
vers, network drivers, 
VESA video driver, Stacker 
4.0 driver, and mouse driver, 
as well as Laptop UltraVision, 
SMARTDrive, and MSCDEX.- 
EXE— and still have 61 2K left 
over for DOS applications. 
In addition to developing 
Netroom, Helix has recently released a 
program that frees up even more conven- 
tional memory. It provides replacement pro- 
grams — each of which takes only a few kilobytes of 
conventional memory — for your mouse driver, SMARTDrive, 
and MSCDEX. The program is called Multimedia Cloaking 
($39.95); it can be used by itself, with EMM386, or with any 
of the dedicated memory manager programs. 

The bottom line is that you can do something about 
DOS-related memory problems. If you have DOS 5, DOS 
6, or Novell DOS 7, check the manual to get started using 
the tools you already have. For further relief, check out a 
dedicated memory manager program, Multimedia 
Cloaking, or both. You may be surprised to see how 
many of those unloadable programs will suddenly work 
on your computers 


By David English 

Remember the TV 
ad where someone 
accidentally drops 
his peanut butter 
into a vat of chocolate? At 
first he's angry, but then he 
discovers that these two 
great flavors taste even bet- 
ter when mixed together. 

Now imagine someone 
accidentally combining two 
of the computer industry's 
hottest products — a note- 
book computer and a multi- 
media desktop PC. Instead 
of a new culinary delight, 
you would have the first true 
personal computer. This 
new hybrid could run your 
multimedia business presen- 
tations, help you maneuver 
your plane in a flight simula- 
tor game, verbally congratu- 
late you on your achieve- 
ments, and even follow your 
spoken commands. And you 
would no longer be restrict- 
ed to disk-based software; 
you could use the rapidly 
expanding universe of multi- 
media CD-ROMs. No doubt 
about it— this is what 
portable computing was 
meant to be. 

So how do we get from 
today's no-nonsense note- 
books to tomorrow's song- 
and-dance, life-of-the-party 
portables? How much will it 
cost, and what do you have 
to give up in portability to 
get there? 

We'll look at three differ- 
ent routes to portable multi- 
media: the new integrated 
multimedia portables, add-in 
PCMCIA multimedia cards, 
and multimedia devices that 

plug into your portable com- 
puter's parallel port. 
Whether you plan to buy a 
multimedia portable in the 
future or want to add sound 
and a CD-ROM drive to your 
current portable, you'll find 
that there are more options 
than ever for taking multime- 
dia on the road. 

Made to Order 

In a perfect world, you could 
have a portable computer 
that included both a sound 
card and a CD-ROM drive— 
and still weighed less than 
four pounds. In our not-so- 
perfect world, you'll have to 

some mfmm 

compro- f 
m i se s — 
weight and 
long bat- 
tery life _. 
don't gen- 
erally mix 
with multi- 

*— . 

— *— 






on the motherboard, a ten- 
inch active matrix color 
screen that has 256 colors at 
640 x 480, and a 540MB 
removable hard drive. It also 
includes a 66-MHz 486DX2 
processor, 20MB of RAM, a 
Type II PCMCIA slot, and a 
Western Digital Graphics 
Accelerator Chip. Given the 
features, it's a wonder that 
the Hurricane weighs only ten 
pounds and, according to the 
company, has a battery life of 
over three hours. This unique 
machine may well predict the 
future of portable comput- 
ing, but if you buy it today, it 
will set you back $7,095. A 
version with 
, the new 75- 

MHz 486DX4 
costs $8,855. 

3445) has a 
portable that 
doesn't run on 

i-- ■ V 

media (though the situation is 
getting better each year). 

If you want the whole thing 
in a single box, there aren't 
many choices. Aquiline (518- 
272-0421) makes a battery- 
operated portable, called the 
Hurricane, with an internal 
CD-ROM drive, a sound chip 

batteries, weighs more, and 
is somewhat larger. The 
18.7-pound T6600C/CD fea- 
tures a 66-MHz 486DX2 
processor with an optional 
128K turbo cache, a 510MB 
hard drive, a video graphics 
accelerator chip with BitBLT, 
a 10.4-inch active matrix 

color screen with 256 colors 
at 640 x 480, 8MB of RAM, 
an internal double-speed 
CD-ROM drive, Microsoft 
Sound System (built into the 
motherboard), built-in 
speakers and microphone, 
two full-length 16-bit ISA 
slots, and a SCSI port. With 
the built-in speakers and 
microphone, the T6600C/CD 
really is an all-in-one solu- 
tion, though the weight and 
the $8,299 price will slow 
down most of us. 

The Toshiba also comes 
in two variations — one with 
more multimedia features 
and one with fewer. The ver- 
sion with more features is 
the standard T6600C/CD 
with an optional Zan- 
tares/lntel ActionMedia-ll 
upgrade ($1,570). The 
upgrade uses both of the 
portable's 16-bit ISA slots 
and lets you add multimedia 
daughterboards based on 
other full-motion digital video 
formats. The version with 
fewer features is the T6600C 
($7,699), which is identical 
to the T6600C/CD, except 
that it doesn't include an 
internal CD-ROM drive. 

A nearly all-in-one solution 
is to buy a notebook computer 
with built-in sound and add a 
portable CD-ROM drive, either 
through a PCMCIA card or 
through a parallel-port 
adapter. Or you could buy a 
notebook computer with a 
built-in CD-ROM drive and 
add a sound device, either 
through a PCMCIA card or 
through a parallel-port 


adapter. As I mentioned 
above, you can buy the sound 
card-equipped T6600C, 
which is a T6600C/CD without 
the CD-ROM drive. Similarly, 
Aquiline offers three models of 
its Hurricane notebook comput- 
er that don't include CD-ROM 
drives, though each of 
them includes 
sound chip on 
the mother- 
board, has 
two Type II PC- 
MCIA slots, and \_ 
weighs about six 
pounds. The model with a 
33-MHz 486DX/SL proces- 
sor, a 200MB hard drive, and a 
dual-scan color display costs 
$2,995; the model with a 33- 
MHz 486DX/SL processor, a 
200MB hard drive, and an 
active matrix color display costs 
$3,995; and the model with a 
66-MHz 486DX2/SL proces- 
sor, a 540MB hard drive, and 
an active matrix color display 
costs $4,995. 

Panasonic (800-742- 
8086) also sells a notebook 
computer with a built-in CD- 
ROM drive. The Panasonic 
V21 includes a multimedia 
pocket that accepts any of 
four optional peripherals: an 
internal CD-ROM drive, a 
video pack, a floppy drive, 
or an additional battery 
pack. The monochrome 
model costs $2,599, while 
the active matrix color model 
lists for $4,199. The optional 
CD-ROM drive is $499. 

All in the Cards 

Admittedly, the portables 
above are still expensive, 

though the prices are com- 
ing down. And these dedi- 
cated portables are of little 
help to those of us who have 
already bought notebook 

Fortunately, most new 
notebook computers come 
equipped with one or two 
PCMCIA slots, which accept 
a variety of PCMCIA expan- 
sion cards — including sound 
cards, SCSI adapters for 
CD-ROM drives, and even a 
video input card. According 
to the Dataquest research 
firm, more than 80 percent 
of the notebook computers 
that will ship in 1994 wil 
have at least one PCMCIA 

Some companies 
even offering multime- 
dia PCMCIA cards 
as options with 
new notebook 
Compaq (800-345- 
1518) offers New Media's 
.WAVjammer PCMCIA 
sound card as an option 
with its popular LTE Elite 
series. Austin Computer 
Systems' new Multimedia 

Notebook Systems include 
a MediaMagic PCMCIA 
sound card; a 32-bit local 
bus; accelerated video; a 
choice of active matrix 
color, dual-scan STN color, 
or monochrome display; 
and a set of stereo comput- 
er speakers. A PCMCIA 
SCSI interface is available 
as an option. The version 
with a 66-MHz 486DX2 
processor, 8MB of RAM, a 
340MB hard drive, and an 
active matrix color display 
with 256 colors at 640 x 480 
costs $4,999. And both 
Compaq and Toshiba offer 
proprietary SCSI adapters 
for many of their current 
PCMCIA-equipped note- 
book computers. 

If your notebook has two 
PCMCIA slots, you should 
be able to convert it into an 
MPC-compatible machine 
PCMCIA slots are back- 
wardly compatible 
according to type. A 
Type III slot can accept 
Type I, Type II, and 

the many PCMCIA sound 
and SCSI cards released 
over the past six months, 
there are several Type I 
cards that should work in 
almost any PCMCIA slot. 

For a fully MPC-compati- 
ble sound card, check out 
the Pro Audio PCMCIA from 
Media Vision (800-348- 
7116). It's a Type II PCMCIA 
sound card that's fully com- 
patible with both Level 1 and 
Level 2 MPC standards. The 
16-bit card supports sample 
rates as high as 48 kHz and 
is fully Sound Blaster and Ad 
Lib compatible. It includes 
an on-board FM synthesizer, 
a built-in MIDI interface, 4 : 1 
audio compression/decom- 
pression, and even a joy- 
stick port. The bundled utili- 
ties include a voice recogni- 

Type III 

cards; a Type II slot 
can accept Type I and 
Type II cards; but a Type I 
slot can accept only Type I 
cards. Fortunately, among 

tion program, a text-to- 
speech program, and a set 



of applications for recording 
audio, editing audio, and 
controlling audio CDs in a 
CD-ROM drive. The Pro 
Audio PCMCIA has a sug- 
gested retail price of $299. 

The .WAVjammer from 
New Media (800-453-0550) 
is also a 16-bit PCMCIA 
sound card, but — being a 
Type I card — it will fit into any 
PCMCIA slot. The .WAVjam- 
mer has an on-board FM 
synthesizer, a 32K DMA 
buffer that allows the card to 
operate using less than 2 
percent of the CPU, low- 
power 100-mA operation with 
1-mA standby mode, and an 
ultrathin six-inch cable with 
one-eighth-inch stereo jacks 
for headset, microphone, 
line-in, and line-out. The card 
is bundled with Microsoft 
Windows Sound System 2.0, 
which includes voice recog- 
nition, text-to-speech, com- 
and audio-recording and 
-playback programs. It's both 
Sound Blaster and Ad Lib 
compatible (in DOS) and 
costs $399. 

Yet another full-featured 
PCMCIA sound card is avail- 
able from l/OMagic (714- 
721-6960). The Tempo 
($399) is a Type II card with 
8- and 12-bit stereo record- 
ing, four-operator FM syn- 
thesis, a 32K on-card buffer, 
full MIDI playback support, 
and a MIDI output interface. 
The card is compatible with 
Windows Sound System and 
Sound Blaster and Ad Lib 
games, and comes with sev- 
eral Windows audio drivers 
and controls. 

DSP Solutions (415-494- 
8086) will take a slightly dif- 
ferent approach with its 
soon-to-be-shi ppi ng 
CIA card (price not avail- 
able). It will come with 


everything you might need, 
including a built-in micro- 
phone, portable speaker, 
stereo jack for headphones, 
and volume control. The 
Type II card will be Sound 
Blaster compatible (except 
with DOS-based applica- 
tions that use a DOS exten- 
der), will play back in either 
8- or 16-bit mode, and will 
support various forms of 
compression in realtime. 

If all you need is mono 
sound from Windows, check 

which can produce a sus- 
tained random read and write 
data rate of over 1MB per 
second, with burst rates as 
high as 5MB per second. That 
makes it as fast as a standard 
ISA-bus SCSI interface card. 
The Bus Toaster is a Type I 
card that draws just 190 mA 
when in use (250 mA is the 
proposed standard) and 15 
mA when asleep. It ships with 
CorelSCSI version 2 and 
should work with virtually all 
SCSI and SCSI-2 peripherals. 

Add video input to your notebook with l/OMagic Focus. 

out Audio Advantage from 
Turtle Beach Systems (800- 
645-5640). This 12-bit mono- 
only Type II PCMCIA card 
offers three different inter- 
face connectors, two full- 
featured MIDI ports (with 
MIDI In, MIDI Out, and MIDI 
Thru), and a power manage- 
ment system that ensures 
the lowest possible power 
consumption when the card 
isn't being used. Best of all, 
the list price is only $159. 

For a PCMCIA card that 
will let you hook your note- 
book computer into an exter- 
nal SCSI-based CD-ROM 
drive, take a look at New 
Media's Bus Toaster ($359), 

QLogic (714-668-5359) 
recently announced its sec- 
ond-generation Fast! SCSI 
PCMCIA host adapter, which 
has a transfer rate of 10MB 
per second. This Type I card 
features hot insertion and 
removal, includes the 
CorelSCSI software for both 
hard drives and CD-ROM 
drives, carries a full five-year 
warranty, and has a suggest- 
ed list price of $229.95. 

cards include the Explorer 
($399) from l/OMagic, a 
Type I card that features hot 
insertion and removal; 
SlimSCSI ($349) from 
Adaptec (800-934-2766), a 

Type II card that features a 
2MB-per-second transfer 
rate; and SCSI2GO ($329) 
from Future Domain (714- 
253-0400), a Type II card 
that features data rates as 
high as 10MB per second, a 
2K internal buffer, and a 
power requirement of 210 
mW when operating. 

Finally, l/OMagic lets you 
capture live video with its 
l/OMagic Focus video input 
card. The Type II PCMCIA 
card can capture live-motion 
video at up to 30 fps (frames 
per second), with a typical 
capture rate of 15-24 fps. 
Focus uses 100 mW when 
operating and just 1 mW in 
standby mode; it costs $499. 

Old Dogs, New Tricks 

What about older portables 
that don't have PCMCIA 
slots? What can you do to 
upgrade them to multime- 
dia? Unless they have a spe- 
cial provision for a SCSI 
adapter (as Compaq, 
Toshiba, and NEC have with 
some of their portables), 
you're pretty much restricted 
to using the parallel port. 
And you'll probably be able 
to plug in either a CD-ROM 
drive or a sound device — but 
not both at the same time. 

The major problem with 
using the parallel port is 
speed. Unless you have an 
EPP (Enhanced Parallel 
Port), your CD-ROM drive 
won't be fast enough to 
meet the MPC specification 
(even the Level 1 spec), and 
your sound device won't be 
able to support true 16-bit 
sampling and playback. The 
new EPP standard promises 
to turn the parallel port into a 
daisychain for peripherals, 
much like the SCSI stan- 
dard, though few of today's 
portables support it, and 
almost none of the portables 

For the first time in this continuum 





MMffii mm 

for Windows 


Photorealistic 3D modeled 
worlds to explore 
Integrated arcade action and 
puzzles tn challenge an\ player 

Over 30 minutes of full motion 


More than one solution to each 

Journey man v.L2 now 
available for Macintosh 

9Jun23l8. 0651Z. 

Now, only 4MB RAM required. 
3 times faster. 




\ttention Temporal P ctora 


IN VISION Multimedia Awards 
•Award of Excellence 

• Gold -Animation, Graphics 
•Bronze -Production Design 

• Bronze - Adu 1 1 Games 

"...the world of interactive 
gaming is never going to be 
the same/- 

Mark Rhodes, 

Micropublishing News 

^ rip has been detected in the fabric of time. Only moments remain until all that mankind has accom- 
jlished is laid waste, Your objective -journey through time... from prehistoric lands to the distant future, to 
irevent any compromise in the established continuum. But be tore the game is over, you must discover 
vho... or what.,, is the source of this mayhem, and bring it to a halt. 

Take a ride through time on the CD Adventure that has 

dlClilc^CLl lllo LUI y Circie Reader Service Number 271 

■ Copyright W2.1 99 3 Presto St u J io> A i\c: 
MPCifersionbyQttadra Interactive jne 

For Upgrade or Sales information call: 

1.800.238.4033 _ 

Circie Reader Service Number 271 

Cop\ right (992*1 ^PrcstoNtudiov J \k 





from years past do. 

If your portable has only 
one PCMCIA slot and your 
parallel port isn't an EPP, 
your best bet is to use your 
PCMCIA slot for a SCSI card 
and your parallel port for a 
sound device. You won't 
have 16-bit sound, but that's 
generally not as bad as hav- 
ing a CD-ROM drive that's 
far below today's Level 2 
MPC standard. 

DSP Solutions offers a 
powerful, if somewhat bulky, 
sound device that plugs into 
the parallel port. The 
PORT-ABLE Sound Plus 
($198.95) has a built-in 
speaker, 16-bit stereo play- 
back, full Windows audio 
support, Sound Blaster and 
Ad Lib emulation (except 
with programs that use a 
DOS extender), a parallel- 
port pass-through for your 
printer, and DSP (Digital 
Signal Processor) technolo- 
gy. It runs on AA batteries, a 
nicad battery, or AC power. 

If you don't need DOS 
program support, take a look 
at AudioMan ($179) from 
Logitech (800-231-7717). It 
works only with Windows, 
but is more compact than 
the PORTABLE Sound Plus. 
It doesn't have a parallel-port 
pass-through, which may not 
be a problem unless you use 
a printer when traveling. 

Media Vision has de- 
signed a very compact par- 
allel-port sound device, 
called the Audioport. It's 
pocket-size, and it has full 
Windows support, limited 
Sound Blaster and Ad Lib 
compatibility (generally, it 
works with any DOS pro- 
gram that will run under 
Windows), a built-in speaker, 
and both microphone and 
external speaker jacks. In 
addition, it can run on either 
batteries or AC power. When 


it first came out, the 
Audioport cost $199. I've 
seen it available through 
Media Vision Resource (800- 
684-6699) at the closeout 
price of $65, which is a terrif- 
ic deal if you need a parallel- 
port sound device this small. 
There are quite a few 
portable CD-ROM drives 
that can plug into your paral- 
lel port— but keep in mind 
that if your portable doesn't 
have an EPP, your parallel- 
port CD-ROM drive will run 
much more slowly than the 
standard internal CD-ROM 
drives found on desktop 
computers. Of course, you 
can plug these same 
portable SCSI CD-ROM 
drives directly into a SCSI 

PCMCIA card and retain the 
full speed of the drive. 

The portable MultiSpin 
3Xp (NEC, 800-NEC-INFO, 
$455) is a triple-speed drive 
(450K per second) with an 
access time of 250 ms. It's 
fully MPC Level 2 compati- 
ble, and it features a switch- 
able (SCSI and SCSI-2) 
interface. The 3Xp weighs 
just 2.4 pounds without its 
optional battery pack and 
also runs on AC power. The 
parallel-port kit, which sup- 
ports EPP, is an extra $160. 

An especially versatile 
portable CD-ROM drive 
comes from Media Vision. 
It's called the Reno Personal 
CD-ROM Player ($349), and 
it doubles as a stand-alone 

Hook a CD-ROM drive to your notebook with SCSI2GO. 

audio-CD player. Reno is a 
double-speed drive (306K 
per second) with a 64K 
buffer, has an access speed 
of less than 180 ms, features 
a SCSI-2 interface, and can 
run on a nicad battery or AC 
power. It doesn't come with 
a parallel-to-SCSI adapter, 
so you would have to buy 
the adapter separately. 

Toshiba's newest portable 
CD-ROM drive weighs just 
1.5 pounds. The CD-400A is 
a double-speed drive (300K 
per second) with an access 
time of 320 ms. It's fully MPC 
Level 2 compatible, and it 
costs $415. For more infor- 
mation, you can call 
Toshiba's Disk Products 
Division at (714) 457-0777. 

Finally, DISCTEC (800-553- 
0337) sells a family of parallel- 
port devices that fall under the 
name of RoadRunner 
Express. The RoadRunner 
Express CD-2x ($529) is a 
double-speed drive (up to 
350K per second), has a 
motorized front tray for conve- 
nient loading, and weighs 3.5 
pounds. Using its autosense, 
it can pick the optimal data 
rate, whether your parallel port 
is a unidirectional port, a bi- 
directional port, an ECP 
(Extended Capabilities Port), 
or an EPP. The CD-2x runs on 
AC power only. 

On the Road Again 

By the end of the year, we 
should see more notebook 
computers with built-in 
sound, more EPP support, 
and a new PCMCIA 3.0 stan- 
dard, which will feature a 
faster throughput using a 32- 
bit data path. With the faster 
processors, larger hard 
drives, and color screens 
found in today's notebook 
computers, portable comput- 
ing is about to go multimedia 
in a big way. □ 



DOOM is a lightning-fast virtual reality adventure where p— — 

you're the toughest space trooper ever to suck vacuum. I 

Scientists stationed on a far-off moonbase have opened \ 
a gateway to Hell, releasing a monster- infested holocaust I 
upon the universe. You're the last marine remaining on V 

the base after the invasion. Your mission is to survive! I 

Four-player combat over network 
Two-player action over modem 

Incredibly detailed 3-D world I 

- Blood-curdling stereo sound effects I 

• Hair raising demonic denizens of Hell 

• Awesome foe-fraggin' weapons 

"The graphics are superb, with 
lighting effects and art that could 
only come from dark and 
demented minds." 
Computer Gaming World 

"You want action? You want 
gunplay? You want gore? 
...DOOM has it all." ~ 
PC Entertainment 

"...if you have saliva, prepare to 
drool now/ " absolute must- 
have for PC action fans." 
Electronic Games 

Call 1-800-IDG. 


- £ 


Order the entire DOOM trilogy for $40.00 
or get episode one, Knee -Deep in the 
Dead™ for the cost of shipping and 
handling. Or download episode one 
from Software Creations™ BBS. 
(508) 368-4137 @ 2400-14.4K baud 
Canadian customers call 1 -600-661-7383. 

Requires a 386DX PC compatible or better; hard disk drive; VGA graphics; 4 Megabytes of memory. A 486 is 

recommended. Multiplayer options require a network which uses the IPX protocol, a modem, or serial link. Digitized 

sound effects require a 100% Sound Blaster™ compatible card, Gravis Ultra Sound™, or Pro Audio Spectrum™- 16. 

DOOM Is a trademark of id Software, ©1993. Other trademarks are the property of their respective companies. 

Circle Reader Service Number 184 



Say "Cheese!" 

Logitech has recently 
announced its MovieMan 
Video & Audio Capture 
Board. It captures true-color 
video and high-quality audio 
together at a full 30 frames 
per second. Because the 
signal capture is integrated, 
sound and video are always 
synchronized, and there's no 
need for a separate 
Windows sound card. It's the 
only board on the market 
that's "digital video ready," 
supporting both NTSC and 
PAL analog signals, as well 
as the Digital Video 
Connector Interface (DVCI), 
an emerging digital video 
interface standard. 
MovieMan can capture still 
images in resolutions of up to 
640 x 480 in 24-bit color. It 
can play CD-ROM-based 
multimedia titles through 
support for Microsoft Video 
for Windows, as well as 
audio WAV files. 

able and easy way to add 
both video and sound to the 
PC and promises to open the 
market to a new class of con- 
sumers — 'next adopters,' a 
group of PC-sawy end users 
who are enthusiastic and 
knowledgeable about new 
technologies but wait for 
products to become more 
affordable," says Susan 
Egnoto, Logitech product 

The product will 
ship with a set of soft- 
ware programs, 
including a complete 
version of Adobe 
Premiere, which is the 
best-selling video-editing 
program, and two packages 
from Logitech: FotoTouch 
Color image-editing software 
(for single-frame editing) and 
EasyClip image-capture soft- 
ware (for one-touch drag- 
and-drop image capture). 
According to the company, 
this combination of hardware 

Twist and Shout! 

Compton's NewMedia is 
entering its first venture with 
Rhino Records, a division of 
Rhino Entertainment. Comp- 
ton's NewMedia, a leading 
developer, publisher, and dis- 
tributor of multimedia titles, 
plans to issue a series of jazz, 
rhythm and blues, and early 

Capture both sound and video with Logitech 's MovieMan. 

Because compression 
technology is evolving so 
rapidly, the board's modular 
design allows expandability 
for more powerful compres- 
sion add-ons. "MovieMan 
represents the most afford- 


and software would repre- 
sent a retail value of $700. 




Circle Reader Service Number 531 

rock multimedia records 
based on a wealth of audio 
and visual material. Each CD- 
ROM title will contain 10-15 
full song tracks, accompanied 
by the musicians' biographies 
and discographies, as well as 
news events from the year the 
songs were released. 

Rhino Records is known as 
the music industry's premier 
archival label and for its com- 
prehensive audio collections. 
In addition to its own exten- 
sive vault of recordings, Rhino 
sometimes purchases entire 
catalogs from other labels, 
tapping as many labels as it 
takes to collect and reissue a 
compilation of historic hits. 

Initially, Compton's will 
issue one rhythm and blues 
title and one jazz title based 
on the Roulette and Atlantic 

Compton's NewMedia 



Circle Reader Service Number 532 

What's Up, Doc? 

You may be able to save on 
your doctor bills with The 

Family Doctor from Creative 
Multimedia. Video clips, ani- 
mations, and audio bring the 
disc's medical information to 
life. Not only is it relevant for 
the family, but physicians, 
nurses, and health educators 
will find it valuable for patient 

The latest edition features 
a video introduction by Allan 
Bruckheim, physician, edu- 
cator, and author of 
Tribune Media's syndi- 
cated "Family Doctor" 
column. The first of 
two new sections is 
called The First Aid. It 
has four areas: Intro-duc- 
tion, What to Do First, First 
Aid & Emergency Care, and 
Your First Aid Kit. 

The second section is on 
rare diseases, based on 
information from the National 
Organization on Rare 
Disorders (NORD). This sec- 
tion defines each disorder, 
gives synonyms for the dis- 
ease's name, discusses 
causes and therapies, and 
identifies researchers and 
clinics that may be contact- 
ed for information or assis- 

Updates to the previous 
edition include The Anatomy 
of the Human Body, divided 
into five sections reflecting 
the major systems of the 
human body. The New 
Prescription Drug Reference 
Guide (1993 edition) offers 
valuable information such as 
brand and trade names, 
uses, side effects, and con- 
traindications. It also 
explains how each drug 
works and includes photos of 
medicines. The Question 
and Answer section has 
more than 300 new entries, 
now totaling over 2300. It 
covers a wide range of top- 
ics, including 282 common 
medical conditions, common 

illnesses, the patient-physi- 
cian relationship, sports 
medicine, surgical proce- 
dures, and more. Education- 


Mini Mi-Oil . 


The Family Dudor 



Aulh'..rr«t itidl Filil.-il 
Dr Allan ^mrkfwutn 

^ ^Lkl-^lHUI', X klBUfM 

H.irr IHvorTkrn 

j i i t'rrmripllnll [Vriln ' ■ -ml' 

ltu*H 1 irM tut 



1 i.'nn n| Ihr Hum-m Bml* 

' 1 

Get healthy with The Family Doctor, 

al Resources, Associations, 
and Health Update Booklets 
are all updated and consoli- 
dated into a single section 
titled Resources. A glossary 
and more than 300 illustra- 
tions are provided for your 

version of Tommy, and the 
CD-ROM will be no differ- 
ent," says Greg Smith, presi- 
dent of RoundBook. Town- 
shend has also 
accepted an 
offer to be- 
come corpo- 
rate adviser 
and consultant 
on a number of 
future interac- 
tive projects. 

In other 
news, Round- 
Book is ex- 
panding its line 
of edutainment 
titles. This fall, 
three new titles 
The Man with 

Creative Multimedia 



Circle Reader Service Number 533 

Tommy Goes Multimedia 

Rock 'rY roll fans of the six- 
ties, rejoice! Another legend 
will soon be available on CD- 
ROM. RoundBook Publishing 
Group, Kardana Produc- 
tions, and Pete Townshend 
will collaborate on a compre- 
hensive multimedia explo- 
ration of the Tommy phe- 
nomenon — ranging from 
Townshend's original com- 
positions and recordings 
(including the legendary sun- 
rise performance of Tommy 
in 1969 at Woodstock) to the 
current Broadway musical 
(winner of a 1993 Tony 

"Pete's creative works 
and insights have been the 
driving force behind every 

will premiere: 

the Underwater Eyes, 

Surfinary, and The Realist. 

The Man with the 
Underwater Eyes is based on 
the work of award-winning 
underwater photographer and 
cinematographer Al (Biddings. 
It will include over 500 still 
images and 30 minutes of film 
and video. Giddings is known 
as the photographer who 
obtained and aired the first 
images of the Titanic after its 
more than 70 years in the North 
Atlantic, as the photographer 
who took the first photos of hot 
vents underwater, and for his 
work for "National Geographic," 
the Discovery Channel, and 
such movies as The Abyss and 
The Deep. 

The Surfinary is based on 
the book of the same name 
by well-known surfing afi- 
cionado Trevor Cralle. The 
CD-ROM will include original 
surfing footage, licensed film 
and video on the history of 
surfing, and more than 500 
black-and-white and color 
photographs and surfing 
illustrations. The disc will also 
include music performed by 
surf bands— made up of 
surfer-musicians who per- 

form in clubs up and down 
the California coast. A surf- 
ing game that tests the 
user's knowledge is also 

"The Realist," by Paul 
Krassner, was first published 
as a magazine in 1958. It 
offered readers a look into 
the mind of a man that gov- 
ernment investigators con- 
sidered a raving, unconfined 
nut. This CD-ROM will fea- 
ture 45 minutes of stand-up 
comedy and political satire 
performed by Krassner. In 
addition to his work as an 
editor and author, Krassner 
is best known as cofounder, 
with Abbie Hoffman, of the 
yippiesin 1968. 

RoundBook Publishing Group 

(408) 438-4222 

Prices TBA 

Circle Reader Service Number 534 


Learn about multimedia while 
experiencing it. 
Multimedia is a 
sive tutorial 
which teaches 
the elements of 
how multime- 
dia can affect 
you, and how 
you can un- 
leash the power 
of multimedia 
to improve com- 
munication. It 
can help you 

ment of sound. Learn how 
frame and object animation 
produce different animated 
and moving effects. See how 
different resolutions affect 
the look of a presentation, 
and discover video capturing 
and how to incorporate live 
action into a multimedia pre- 
sentation. Master the MPC 
and its powerful tools and 
accessories to develop per- 
sonal sound, video, and 
photo libraries. 

You also get to experience 
firsthand the excitement of 
multimedia sound, video, ani- 
mation, and graphics through 
more than 50 video and audio 
clips, including vignettes from 
leading multimedia programs, 
such as Microsoft Dinosaurs, 
Broderbund's Arthur's Teacher 
Trouble, and Interactive 
Ventures' Mayo Clinic — The 
Total Heart. 

Professor Multimedia is 
designed to let you work at 
your own pace. You can fol- 
low the program or randomly 
select the lessons that 

Discover multimedia with Professor Multimedia. 

your PC into an interactive 
arena of lights, sound, and 

For example, Professor 
Multimedia can teach the dif- 
ference between a wave file 
and a MIDI file, and how 
each incorporates the ele- 

j appeal to you most. The pro- 
I gram automatically tracks 
I the lessons you've complet- 
j ed with check marks. 

Individual Software 
i (800) 822-3522 
| $79.95 
! Circle Reader Service Number 535 



By Bob Lindstrom 


This program is designed for 
the multitudes of musicians 
and music hobbyists who 
need to preserve their musi- 
cal brainstorms in standard 
musical notation. It combines 
basic MIDI recording, edit- 
ing, and data file importing 
with a surprisingly sophisti- 
cated notation engine. In 
short, if you can play it or 
load it into your computer, 
MusicTime can display it 
onscreen and print it out as 
sheet music. 

MusicTime's Score win- 
dow lets you create music 
manuscript pages with as 
many as eight staves, each 
with as many as four inde- 
pendent voices. Then you 
can fill them using one of sev- 
eral music entry techniques. 

MusicTime can also play 
your score on external MIDI 
synthesizers, an internal 
sound card (such as a 
Sound Blaster or Pro 
AudioSpectrum), or a combi- 
nation of both. MusicTime's 
dual MIDI port design allows 
you to assign some music 
parts to the card and others 
to the external devices. 

Finally, MusicTime prints 
the score using your choice 
of TrueType or PostScript 
fonts. The result is a pol- 
ished, professional-looking 
manuscript that outclasses 
those hand-copied, agony- 
of-writer's-cramp scores. 

There are several ways 
you can enter notes into 
MusicTime. You can import 
files in MIDI Type 1 or 
Passport format (the latter 
from Passport's Master 
Tracks Pro or Trax). Or you 
can drag and drop notes and 
symbols from the icon 
menus. You can also use 
step-time recording to select 
note lengths with the mouse 
and then play note pitches 


with an external music key- 
board or your computer's 
alphanumeric keys. Finally, 
you can record music in real- 
time with an external music 
keyboard or your computer 

In MusicTime's Staff Sheet 
window, you can assign 
each line (or track) of music 
to separate computer ports, 
MIDI channels, and synthe- 
sizer instruments, as well as 
use sliding volume controls 
to set the relative volume of 
each instrumental line. 

additional markings or — 
since the automatic process 
can't produce perfect nota- 
tion—refine the score nota- 
tion. If you're writing sheet 
music for a song, you can 
also add lyrics for one or 
more verses. You can even 
improve visual clarity by 
assigning various colors to 
different musical lines and, if 
you have a color printer, print 
out the results. 

An extensive array of 
musical symbols is available, 
including treble, bass, tenor, 

Create your own sheet music with 

Once you've entered the 
notes, MusicTime automati- 
cally guesses how they 
should be notated as written 
music. While this is a com- 
plex process, MusicTime 
does an impressively good 
job. In most cases, you end 
up with an intelligently writ- 
ten, fully realized score 
onscreen, missing only inter- 
pretive markings such as 
dynamics, phrasings, ties, 
and slurs. 

For a perfect manuscript, 
MusicTime provides a well- 
equipped array of graphic- 
editing tools and musical 
symbols so you can insert 

MusicTime 2.0. 

and percussion clefs, along 
J with trill, mordent, octave 
transposition, and guitar fret 
chords. Composers can mix 
keys and time signatures 
throughout a score, but they 
won't find all the exotic sym- 
bols needed for some con- 
temporary scores. 

Similarly, musicians need- 
ing intricate control over MIDI 
playback may want to fine- 
tune their work in a separate 
MIDI sequencing program. 
MusicTime's tools to edit 
velocity (volume), pitch, 
duration (note length), and 
quantization (rhythmic place- 
ment) are good, but hardly 

the equal of those in full- 
fledged MIDI sequencing 
software. Fortunately, Music- 
Time's solid file importing 
and exporting make it easy to 
use a separate MIDI se- 
quencer either before or after 
notating or printing a score. 

Even though MusicTime 
puts the emphasis on nota- 
tion and printing, it still lacks 
the ability to extract and print 
parts from a full score, unless 
you're prepared to go 
through a time-consuming 
copy-and-paste process for 
each stave. Since musicians 
can't be expected to read 
their parts from the full score, 
the lack of this feature limits 
the program's versatility for 
music ensemble teachers, 
composers, and arrangers 
who need to output individual 
parts. For them, Passport's 
Encore would be a better 
choice, as it includes auto- 
matic part extraction. 

Also, MusicTime scores 
can't contain more than eight 
staves. While this is sufficient 
for lead sheets, piano-vocal 
scores, small combo sheet 
music, and most choral writ- 
ing, it's insufficient for larger 
band and orchestral scores. 

MusicTime's priority is 
superior printed output, and 
the printed results do look 
excellent. Additionally, the 
mouse-driven editing tools 
are very easy to use and 
require only a brief learning 
curve. For musicians or hob- 
byists whose main needs are 
lead sheets, piano-vocal 
scores, choral scores, or 
small combo sheet music, 
MusicTime is a good choice 
for producing first-rate print- 
ed manuscripts. 

Passport Designs 



Circle Reader Service Number 550 

Dominate th 

Dominate the 


Back when they were known as the JJi 
they conducted over fifty yeart 
research into manipulating the foi 
of Extra Sensory Perception (E! 
The product of their research, 
Psychotronic Generator is sole 
the government of the Uni 
States. Somewhere en route to 
U.S.A. it vanishes, and now 
up to you to find it! 

•The Psychotron has m 
than an hour of Windows ™ - 
motion video and dozens 

incredibly detailed 3-D ani 

tion sequences! 

•Windows™ based platfc 
provides standardized ope 
ing environment for q\ 
set-up and play! 

•Revolutionary scoring £ 
tern allows multiple plaj 
to participate together in 
interactive environment! 

• Dialogs are interactive 
mating a new exp 
w w«,^xi time you play! 

Enlarge Video Windows to 
screen any time you wish! 

•High production values inc 

ing a cast of professional ad 

and an original music score bi 

ou the world of The Psychotrc 

•C1994 Merit, Software. "The; Multimedia i\tm\: and Tin: PsyObotW 

teractive Movie for Windo 

w Merit Software 

Dallas, Texas 800-238-4277 


This update takes The Norton Utilities into the 

Windows environment with power and 

ease — and further develops its relationship with DOS. 

Tom Campbell 


If you left The Norton Utilities 
behind when you left DOS 
and opened Windows, it's 
time to renew an old acquain- 
tance. Symantec's evergreen 
Norton Utilities — a PC disk re- 
pair standard for a decade or 
so — is making a graceful tran- 
sition into the Windows world. 

Reviewing The Norton Utili- 
ties 8.0 came at an oppor- 
tune time for me. I was writing 
a program that uses three sim- 
ilar animated icons, all based 
on the same picture. DOS 
was confused about the loca- 
tion of one of the files. The 
installation process, normally 
speedy, halted itself almost 
before it started, explaining 
correctly that the DOS file al- 
location table on drive C was 
damaged. It suggested I use 
Norton Disk Doctor on the apt- 
ly named Emergency disk to 
diagnose and correct the prob- 
lem. I did so, and NDD quick- 
ly found the culprits — two 
TMP files that I knew I could 
safely delete. I was then able 
to continue the installation, 
this time passing the rigorous 
hard disk check. I gratefully 
loaded all 9MB of The Norton 
Utilities, although I could've in- 
stalled only those I selected. 

The Windows utilities 
include Norton Disk Doctor, 
the centerpiece of the collec- 
tion; Speed Disk, a hard disk 
efficiency expert; System 
Watch, a stay-on-top utility 
that allows you to monitor 
everything from available 
drive space to free graphics 
resources; File Compare, 
which shows graphically the 
differences between two text 
files (for example, the differ- 
ences between AUTOEXEC- 

INI Tracker, which lets you 
keep track of changes to Win- 
dows INI files; INI Tuner, 
which gives you an amazing- 
ly easy way to view and learn 
about a wide variety of those 
mysterious INI files that prolif- 
erate so abundantly; INI edi- 
tor, a vast improvement on 
the benighted SysEdit; and 
INI Advisor, a dynamite help 
program that coordinates the 
other Norton INI applications 
and gives you tons of handy 
Windows tips. Those are just 
the Windows utilities. 

The DOS tool set is wonder- 
fully familiar to grizzled vets. It 
includes Disk Doctor; System 
Info, which gives pages and 
pages of information about 
your computer system; 
Change Directory, a super- 
charged replacement for 
DOS's opaque CD command; 
the ever-handy FileFind, 
which lets you locate a file or 
files on the hard disk, find out 
how much disk space they 
consume (and how efficiently 
the disk uses that space), 
and even search for text with- 
in those files; Diskreet, a disk 

security program; DUP 
a great disk-duplicating 
that lets you copy a di 
the same drive withou 
swapping; File Fix, \ 
tries to repair corrupte 
eel, dBASE, WordPe 
and other files; NDOS, a 
nitely superior replace 
Enhancer, which gives 
files a streamlined, profe 
al finish; and more. The} 
tied together with Nortor 
grator, but they work e 
well on their own. 

Speed Disk perfor 
task that's far more comj 
ed to describe than it is 
ecute. Seldom having 
on a hard disk to put e 
tire file in one location, 
can be forced to mo 1 
over the disk when acce 
a single file — a proces 
can cause noticeable \B 
your files become mon 
more fragmented. 

Speed Disk analyze 
disk and figures out how 
shuffle the fragment 
they're closer together, s 


ing up your hard disk and — 
an important fringe benefit — 
helping protect against data 
loss. This used to take hours 
and was paradoxically danger- 
ous: The very act of rearrang- 
ing your disk meant that if 
your computer lost power or 
you accidentally rebooted dur- 
ing defragmentation, the disk 
could be rendered unusable. 

Speed Disk for Windows 
analyzed my 200MB drive in 
just a few minutes; a com- 
plete defragmentation took on- 
ly about an hour. Better, it 
worked its magic as I used 
Windows and DOS in the back- 
ground. Speed Disk can be 
safely interrupted, and de- 
spite its blinding speed, it al- 
lowed me to write this review 
as it did its job. 

DUPDISK is a classic Nor- 
ton utility, performing a single, 
apparently simple task so 
well that you're almost sur- 
prised that it's not already 
part of DOS. If you have two 
identical floppy drives, DOS 
makes copying a floppy disk 
fairly painless. The problem is 
that most machines have ei- 
ther a single 3 1 /2-inch drive or 
a 3V2-inch drive and a 514- 
inch drive — and Diskcopy 
won't work across dissimilar 
media. If your machine is 
thus configured and you 
want to make a copy of a 31/2- 
inch disk, you have to employ 
an old DOS hack in which the 
single drive literal-mindedly 
does the work of two, forcing 
you into innumerable disk 

DUPDISK takes a much 
more straightforward ap- 
proach. It copies the entire 
disk image into RAM, asks 
you to insert the destination 
disk, and then creates a copy 
in one pass. Depending on 
how much you rely on flop- 
pies, DUPDISK alone could 

be worth the price of admis- 
sion. It eliminates the tedious, 
time-consuming disk swap- 
ping that can really bog 
down your copying time. 

The NDOS replacement for 
COMMAND.COM boasts a 
staggering 200 commands, 
but it mercifully loads itself in- 
to high memory, making its 
DOS footprint smaller than 
COMMAND. COM's. If you're 
an infrequent visitor to the 
DOS command line, you'll 
probably get by just fine with- 
out NDOS. But NDOS will be 
a dream come true if you're a 
Luddite like me, who wonders 
why DOS has never provided 
commands to accept input in 
batch files or let you change 
both disk and directory in a sin- 
gle command, use subrou- 
tines in batch files, move a 
file to a different directory, 
and so on. I took to NDOS in- 
stantly, disappointed only 
when I used machines at 
work that didn't have it. 

Batch Enhancer is unrelat- 
ed to NDOS, but it offers 
some of the same features to 
users who are running only 
It lets you create interactive, 
flashing, beeping batch files 
with a minimum of fuss — and 
it can do a great deal with 
just a few commands. Some 
of the sample scripts are elab- 
orate and quite handy to use. 
Batch Enhancer was devel- 
oped separately from NDOS, 
so some of their functions over- 
lap; this can be a source of 
confusion to the novice. 

The Norton Utilities is a 
class act, well worth the $179 
list price if your job depends 
on PCs. From the superlative 
installation program to the 
manuals to the online help 
and the programs them- 
selves, The Norton Utilities ex- 
udes skill, reliability, and crafts- 

manship. The utilities are fast 
where they need to be, conser- 
vative where they need to be, 
and insistent where they 
should be. 

The online help and 
screen prompts still have the 
preternatural lucidity that 
made Peter Norton a player, 
but they do miss a few tricks. 
There are many places in the 
DOS utilities documentation in 
which short batch files illus- 

£le fcC ' Borton w*m«* tie* 

IBM PC or 
compatible (80286 
compatible, 80386 
required lor 

components); 640K 
RAM for DOS. 4MB 
RAM lor Windows; 
VGA or belter; hard 

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trate a particular tool at work. 
It seems like missed market- 
ing opportunities that these 
batch files don't use Batch En- 
hancer to display a dialog if a 
file is missing, for example, 
and that they aren't written in 
the vastly extended batch lan- 
guage NDOS provides. My 
pet peeve is that NDOS is on- 
ly documented online— you 
have to pay extra for a manu- 
al. Granted, only a small num- 
ber of Norton users rely on 
NDOS, but if it comes with the 
product, it ought to be ade- 
quately documented. 

In all, however, you'll find 
you simply can't go wrong if 
you buy The Norton Utilities 
8.0. And you may very well 
go wrong if you don't. D 

Circle Reader Service Number 391 

free; Windows 3.1 
or higher; mouse 

10201 Torre Ave. 
Cupertino. CA 



Robert Bixby 

The superhighway 

will be routed 

directly through your 

living room. 


Let's take a look at what the fu- 
ture of cable access will be. 
To see the complete flow, we 
need to look at the history of 
telecommunications. (The 
source for much of this infor- 
mation is Cable TV Technolo- 
gy Information Kit, provided 
by the National Cable Televi- 
sion Association.) 

Once, telephones and tel- 
egraphs were very rare 
things. Information flowed fit- 
fully and in small packets. The 
problem (or one of the prob- 
lems) was wiring. It would 
take nearly a century just to 
string wire to every house and 
to develop a nationwide net- 
work of lines. Wireless commu- 
nication seemed to solve 
many of these problems. With- 
in a few years of the invention 
of the wireless (radio), most 
homes had sets. 

When television arrived, it 
could do more things than ra- 
dio, but in order to broadcast 
its more complex set of sig- 
nals, it had to use a wider 
band than radio so there 
could be fewer stations. 

When satellites in geostation- 
ary orbit came into play, virtu- 
ally half of the earth was in di- 
rect view of any given satellite. 
Bandwidth was less of a prob- 
lem, too, since from the begin- 
ning, communications satel- 
lites could handle hundreds of 

Satellite reception is current- 
ly in a bit of a muddle. All ca- 
ble providers use satellite re- 
ceivers, many homeowners 
have installed satellite dishes 
in their backyards, and people 
will soon receive transmis- 
sions using 18-inch receivers 
on top of their televisions — 
satellite dishes barely more im- 
posing than rabbit ears. But 
the big money is on central 
receivers and distribution 
through fiber-optic cables. 

As you can see, the devel- 
opment of electronic commu- 

nication has been a continu- 
ing battle between distribution 
(who's included in the net) 
and bandwidth (the amount of 
information that can move 
across the net). Shortwave 
can distribute a little informa- 
tion to billions of people while 
television transmissions can 
move a lot more information 
but serve at most a few million 
people close to the transmis- 
sion tower. 

Wire communication faces 
similar challenges. Twisted- 
pair wires (used for telephone 
and some computer networks) 
can carry only about V900 the 
information a coaxial cable 
can carry. But coaxial is also 
prone to problems. Signals 
are attenuated rapidly along 
the wire, requiring constant am- 
plification. A coaxial cable 
must have an amplifier every 
2000 feet, or the signal will 
drop off to nil. 

Each time a signal is ampli- 
fied, a little bit of noise is intro- 
duced into the system, so you 
can't string a cable out indefi- 
nitely without making the sig- 
nal so noisy that it's useless. 
It's the noise of amplification 
that limits most cable systems 
to about 40 channels. If there 
were a way to feed a clean sig- 
nal down a cable without am- 
plification, you could boost the 
number of channels to be- 
tween 100 and 200. 

The key to this is fiber-optic 
cable, which requires less am- 
plification and can provide a 
clean signal close enough to 
your home that an unamplified 
coaxial cable (called a drop 
line) can run the rest of the 
way to your receiver with little 
degradation in signal and up 
to 200 channels of infomer- 
cials and home shopping net- 
works. But that's not all. 

Where cable and comput- 
ers come together is the point 
of interest. Think back to the 
1980s— those dim days at the 
dawn of time when people 
bought magazines and books 

with type-in programs in order 
to spend long hours creating 
software for themselves by typ- 
ing in code at the keyboard. 
CompuServe and The Source 
had some programs available 
online for downloading, but at 
300 bps, who could afford all 
of the online time? 

Disk-based software was 
available at 80K and 160K at 
a time. In the blink of an eye, 
we have moved from those 
times to the era of CD-ROMs 
capable of providing 3000- 
6000 times as much informa- 
tion as the first floppy disks on 
platters that are smaller and 
less fragile than floppies. Al- 
though CD-ROMs are more 
convenient, more capacious, 
and more rugged than flop- 
pies, they are on the verge of 
being supplanted by online 
technology, which provides 
far more convenience, capac- 
ity, and ruggedness than CD- 
ROMs provide. 

Online connections will 
make concern over distribu- 
tion of data a thing of the 
past. You will be able to ac- 
cess as much data as you 
need — at least for today's ap- 
plications — virtually instantane- 
ously. You will pay fees not for 
collections of disks and man- 
uals but for access to code 
and text files online. But the 
key phrase is "for today's ap- 
plications." Applications will 
rapidly begin to push the en- 
velope for data transmission. 
Once, the 600MB CD-ROM 
full of highly compressed 
code and data was seen as 
the answer to distribution prob- 
lems that made 1.44MB flop- 
pies virtually obsolete. A few 
months later, manufacturers 
found themselves shipping ap- 
plications and games on two 
and even three CD-ROMs. Sim- 
ilarly, I have confidence that 
the demands of presenting 
the virtual worlds we will soon 
inhabit will quickly outgrow the 
capacity of cable. What will 
we do then? O 



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| Accredited Member. National Home Study Council 



This entertaining and educational paint program 

gives kids the confidence and 

freedom to create on and off the computer 

Peter Scisco 


The stick man may be seeing 
his last days. Microsoft's Fine 
Artist not only combines a tu- 
torial with a powerful multime- 
dia paint program, but also 
throws in templates and step- 
by-step instructions for creat- 
ing special projects. It puts a 
paintbrush in the hands of 
kids 8-14 years old and 
gives them the guidance and 
encouragement to reach be- 
yond the stick man. 

The Fine Artist studios are 
located in a street in the whim- 
sical town of Imaginapolis. As 
in Microsoft's other kids' pro- 
gram, Creative Writer, the 
town acts as an interface be- 
tween kids and the various ac- 
tivities the program provides. 
In Fine Artist, a building "hous- 
es" the program's activities in 
the same way that there's a 
building for the activities in Cre- 
ative Writer. Each floor within 
the building supports a differ- 
ent job. It's an odd interface 
for adults accustomed to 
files, directories, and folders, 
but it's very easy to navigate. 

In the Fine Artist building, 
for example, the bottom floor 
plays host to the Lobby and 
the Gallery. Kids can hang 
their pictures on the wall here 
and then pull them down and 
work on them some more. 
They can rearrange the dis- 
play, exchange the pictures 
on the wall for others in the li- 
brary, or bring a picture to the 
screen to work on it. 

Kids can take the elevator 
or slide up the fire pole to the 
Painting Studio on the second 
floor. This may be the most fa- 
miliar part of the program, as 
it uses many of the same ele- 
ments found in other paint pro- 
grams. To start a new draw- 
ing, kids double-click on the 
blank canvas resting on the ea- 

sel at the center of the 
screen. If they have created a 
picture before, that picture is 
displayed on the wall. Since 
the program remembers all of 
this when it's turned off, kids 
can easily return to their cur- 
rent project. 

The Painting Studio introduc- 
es a whole wall of tools that 
are designed to make the cre- 
ative process both fun and 
easy. Kids can choose from 
standard tools such as paint- 
brushes, line and shape draw- 
ing, and paint buckets, each 
with special shapes, colors, 
and patterns. Kids will also 
find transformers, which will 
bend and twist and otherwise 
modify pictures. Original pic- 
tures can be started or 
dressed up with the Sticker 
Picker, which includes more 
than 125 different clip art im- 
ages of several types, from an- 
imals to landscapes. 

Multimedia events can be 
added quickly by selecting 
from menus. Sound effects 
ranging from the roars of dino- 
saurs to the mooing of cows 
to musical notes are easily as- 

signed by clicking on the 
horn icon. Kids can then play 
their selected sounds back 
by using a magic wand op- 
tion to click on the appropri- 
ate spot in the picture. If kids 
don't find the sounds they 
want, they can import WAV 
files or record their own. 

Some of the pictures and 
backgrounds are even animat- 
ed. While this doesn't trans- 
late to the printed page, of 
course, kids can still enjoy 
making their own live pic- 
tures, complete with slithering 
snakes, leaping lizards, fugi- 
tive spacemen, and so forth. 

Mistakes are no problem, 
thanks to the Fine Artist vacu- 
um. It sucks up misplaced 
stickers, words, and paint 
drops. It can also be used to 
copy and paste from the Win- 
dows Clipboard. It's designed 
to sniff out and whisk away on- 
ly those elements that it's told 
to find. That's a handy feature 
when you're working with a 
complicated picture and it's 
only a sticker that has to be 
erased, not the background. 

Fine Artist does a good job 


with words, allowing kids to 
use the Windows font library 
in their computer and to as- 
sign special shapes and col- 
ors to the words in their pic- 
tures. Special effects, like 
drop shadows, outlines, and 
extruding type, are as easy to 
apply as pressing a button. 

All of these tools are avail- 
able both in the Painting Stu- 
dio and on the Projects floor. 
If kids discover they need 
help with any of the tools, the 
comical McZee character pro- 
vides explanations. 

Most kids will draw without 
encouragement (especially 
on the wall), but as they grow 
older, many stop experiment- 
ing, convinced that they lack 
the talent or the skill. But 
most drawing skills can be 
learned — they're not always 
based on talent or intuition. 
Fine Artist really shines here 
as it teaches these skills with 
short lessons featuring a char- 
acter named Maggie. 

As they move through the 
lessons, kids learn such 
terms as negative space and 
positive space. The terms are 
illustrated so that kids can im- 
mediately grasp the con- 
cepts. After all, it's the tech- 
nique, not the vocabulary, 
that counts at this point. 

Kids also get some pointers 
in art appreciation as they 
move through the lessons. By 
clicking on the Challenge but- 
ton (located at different inter- 
vals within each lesson), kids 
get a real-life example of the 
concept being covered. M.C. 
Escher, for example, explains 
negative and positive space 
(with words— none of Escher's 
pictures are displayed). Any- 
one familiar with Escher's 
work knows that he achieved 
his illusory effects by playing 
with these concepts. 

Other lessons include in- 

struction on giving depth to 
drawings by teaching how an 
artist uses a vanishing point 
on the horizon or how overlap- 
ping elements and added de- 
tail create the illusion of three 
dimensions. Not only does 
Fine Artist explain these con- 
cepts, but it also supplies all 
the tools kids need for pulling 
off their own visual tricks. 
They can repeat the same les- 
sons over and over, and then 
translate those lessons into 
drawings — on the computer 
or on a sketch pad out in the 

Learning techniques is a 
great way to build confidence 
in kids who might otherwise 
never attempt to draw. For 
those who are visual learners, 
a program like this can en- 
gage them in the creative proc- 
ess and lead to discoveries be- 
yond the canvas. 

Fine Artist also shines as a 
project maker. Excellent on- 
line help takes kids through 
the process of making a com- 
ic strip, a poster, stickers, 
and even an electronic flip 

All of the projects include 
step-by-step advice from Mag- 
gie. When kids are making a 
comic strip, for example, she 
helps them decide how many 
panels to use, guides them in 
creating a word balloon, di- 
rects them to the back- 
grounds, and then shows 
them how to use the pro- 
gram's sticker library for char- 
acters in the strip. 

If they like, kids can create 
a comic strip from scratch, 
drawing their own back- 
grounds and characters. Or 
they can import pictures from 
other Windows programs 
(WMF and BMP formats). 

Importing pictures into com- 
ics or into other projects 
works the same way as import- 

ing a sound effect, and it illus- 
trates one of the odd charac- 
teristics of Fine Artist. The pro- 
gram's interface is designed 
as a toy, not a toolbox. 
Where most other art pro- 
grams ask the user to move 
through directories or disks to 
find a picture, Fine Artist uses 
a frisky fellow named Ratdog 
to fetch appropriate graphic 
files from the user's disk. 
Such a tool solves the prob- 

IBM PC or 
compatible (60386 
compatible). 4MB 
Windows 3,1 or 
higher, hard drive 
with 8MB free, 

lem of kids having to search 
through a hard drive for pic- 
tures when they may not un- 
derstand the concepts of file- 
names and directories. As a 
protective measure, it guards 
their parents' machine 
against mistaken deletions. 
It's a great feature for the 
many parents who are anx- 
ious about sharing the comput- 
er with their kids. 

There are plenty of paint 
and draw programs on store 
shelves. Many of them are suit- 
able for kids as open-ended 
discovery toys, but few of 
them take the time to teach 
as well as entertain. Fine Art- 
ist gives budding artists room 
to create without ever paint- 
ing them into a corner. D 

Circle Reader Service Number 392 

mouse; MPC- 
compliaiu audio 
device optional— 


One Microsoft Way 

Redmond, WA 


(800) 428-9400 



Peter Olafson 

Merit reaps 

controversy with 


where becoming 

a killer 

is an option. 


If nothing else, Merit's forth- 
coming SVGA horror game, 
Harvester, is likely to be con- 
troversial. I'm not even talking 
about the skull-and-spinal-col- 
umn video that grabbed peo- 
ple's attention at Winter CES. 
This CD-ROM role-playing 
game, designed by Gilbert 
Austin (who wrote the stories 
for Origin's Wing Commander 
II, Strike Commander, and Pri- 
vateer) and the Maelstrom 
team, ultimately offers you the 
option to become a killer. 

"The censors can't wait to 
get their hands on it," said Rod- 
dy McGinnis, Merit's director 
of product development. 

It sounds like something out 
of a movie. (Indeed, an MPEG 
full-motion version is being con- 
sidered.) You wake up in a bi- 
zarre small town straight out of 
"Leave It to Beaver." The only 
person you know is The Girl 
Next Door (evidently your fi- 
ancee). She disappears. Evi- 
dence points to an odd lodge 
in town, and let's just say it 
isn't the home of the Shriners. 

The perspective in this 
adult-level adventure is split be- 
tween that of a filmed charac- 
ter and a view similar to the 
one in Mortal Kombat. You 

have the ability to fight in mod- 
est fashion (with a baseball 
bat), as well as in more dedi- 
catedly Mortal Kombat-like 
fashion (with a sickle). Look for 
it late this summer. 

Also in the works from Merit 
is The Fortress of Dr. Radiaki — 
a 30-level would-be Doom ri- 
val that aims to better the orig- 
inal in terms of background 
detail and animations. Stills 
from this work in progress sug- 
gest the designers are going 
for a more photorealistic, and 
more bizarre, effect. 

Merit also has under wraps 
an as-yet-unnamed flight sim 
said to be accessible in the 
style of Comanche: Maximum 
Overkill, and to use Gouraud- 
shaded graphics and a virtual 
cockpit. The game will sport a 
range of interesting missions, 
from capture-the-flag to coop- 
erative ventures. 

Cooperative? Yes, it will be 
sold in a single-player version, 
but you'll be able to call Merit 
for a code to unlock the net- 
work version, which permits 
up to eight players per side. 

Also look for a new version 
of the free-scrolling horror-com- 
ic Isle of the Dead that tunes 
up the sound and music, and 
a major upgrade to Command 
Adventures: Starship, which 
will include a mission disk. Fi- 
nally, Merit has picked up the 
U.S. rights to Sink or Swim, a 
Lemmings-like arcade/puzzle 
game from England's Zeppe- 
lin label that finds you saving 
fire-hydrant-shaped passen- 
gers from a doomed liner. 

Slings and missiles. VR Sling- 
shot has the feel of a flight sim, 
but it's more like a virtual 
sport. In this airborne duel 
from Ixion (originally released 
for the Amiga and due this sum- 
mer for the IBM), you and a hu- 
man or computer opponent 
square off in triangular craft in 
an environment graced with a 
very persuasive simulation of 
physics. Flight is as smooth as 
you could wish, but the under- 

lying math makes it feel real, 
and with 3-D glasses (which 
plug into a parallel-port adap- 
tor that's available separately), 
the game takes on an incredi- 
ble you-are-there feeling. You 
don't fly through this space so 
much as inhabit it. 

The game has undergone 
some changes since its origi- 
nal Amiga release. It's now full- 
screen with improved sound 
(the Gravis Ultrasound works 
great with it), and the IBM ver- 
sion has two full games— En- 
ergy Duel, where you try to 
wear down your opponent's 
power, and the new Cyber- 
ball, a sort of virtual hybrid of 
air hockey and racquetball in 
which you try to butt and shoot 
a faceted sphere through a 
Stonehenge-like goal. 

Simmering sequels. How 
do you follow up an act like 
Doom? With a game called 
Doom II: Hell on Earth. Id's 
CEO, Jay Wilbur, indicates 
that it will pick up where 
Doom left off, on a devastated 
Earth populated by really evil 
things, and have "everything 
that Doom had, and more of 
it." Levels will be much larger, 
and the game will no longer 
be episodic. Expect it for 
Christmas from GT Software. 

Armored Fist, NovaLogic's 
new tank game that uses the 
Comanche voxel space tech- 
nology, should be available 
soon. Set in the future, Ar- 
mored Fist places you in com- 
mand of an armored infantry 
company using hardware 
from either the U.S. or the for- 
mer Soviet Union. You can con- 
trol the U.S.'s M1A2 Abrams 
and M3 Bradley, or the Rus- 
sian T-80 and BMP 2. A wide 
range of scenarios is planned, 
and the included battle con- 
struction set will allow you to 
create your own challenges. 
From preliminary screen shots, 
it appears that the smooth hill- 
sides and detailed images 
here are even crisper than 
those in Comanche. CI 






a s s 






/ / 



' ■: 




Domark set the standard 
the first SVGA strategic flight 
simulator. Now, we're pushing 
that standard to new heights! 

the first 3-D flight modeling 
PC software, adds to our 
Advanced Sim-Series" state-of- 
the-art flight simulator line. 

FST is revolutionary, pow- 
erful, sophisticated and easy 
to use. You'll love its attention 
to detail — cockpits include 
modern instrumentation such 
as OBI, DME, and Glideslope 
— as well as the ability to build 
every detail of your sim world. 

In a hurry? Not interested 
in building every last plane, 

tree, truck, valley or skyscraper? 
No problem. Just use the clip- 
art library stocked with hun- 
dreds of aircraft, ground 
targets, and objects. You'll be 
streaking through the heavens 
in no time! 


The Ultimate Flight Experience 

Shape EdHOBI Create your own plane or 
use one of the dozens included — tike 
this Stealth fighter. 

Cockpit Editor: Design your cockpit 
and fill it with the latest instrumenta- 
tion like OBL DME mid Glideslope. 

World Editor: Fiilyour world with 
land masses, mountains, rivers and 
oceans as iveUas man-made structures, 

Ha i v a biast flying a ndfigh ting inside a 
world you have personally treated with 

Screens shown: IBM 256-color SVGA displays. 
IBM PC/COMROTBLESi Available November 1993 
Requires Windows™ 3. 1 

Ltd. Published by Domark Software Ltd. Programmed by Simis Ltd. 
Graphics by the Kremlin. ©1993 Domark Group Ltd. All rights reserved. 


1900 S. Norfolk St., Suite 202, San Mateo, CA 94403 415/513-8929 
Circle Reader Service Number 189 

Visa/MC orders: call 24 hrs a day, 
SpBCtnifll 7 ^ys a week:1-B00-695-GAME 
§lg%lg%Bufg* (orders only). For technical 

nUlUDyiG assistance and availability call: 

1-415-513-8933, M-F, 10am-4pm PST. 


Atmospheric graphics, intriguing puzzles, 
and vivid storytelling make CD-ROM 
history in this multimedia masterpiece. 

Bob Lindstrom 


After ten years of struggling 
as an almost-ran, CD-ROM 
abruptly became a success. 
And just as suddenly, CD- 
ROM games have sprouted 
everywhere. Unfortunately, 
this bumper crop of games is 
a largely unimpressive har- 
vest of shovelware, mainly old- 
er titles enhanced with spo- 
ken dialogue and familiar 
game concepts garbed in up- 
to-date graphics. 

Standing out from the 
weeds, however, is a rose: 
Broderbund's Myst, a true mul- 
timedia masterpiece that in- 
geniously exploits a CD- 
ROM's hefty 650MB storage 
capacity. More important, 
Myst makes you believe its 
eye-boggling alternate reality. 
It breathes life into a world of 
fantastic vistas and fanciful ide- 
as, bringing fresh air and riv- 
eting entertainment to comput- 
er adventuring. 

An ominous, atmospheric in- 
troductory sequence launch- 
es your visit into Myst. A lone 
human silhouette plunges 
through a dark fissure in time 
and space; a foreboding nar- 
rator makes allusions to mys- 
tical books and unwritten end- 
ings. At the end of the se- 
quence, a single, worn book 
remains onscreen. 

The polished production val- 
ues of this intro demonstrate 
that Myst is no ordinary com- 
puter game, but the intro 
doesn't prepare you for the vis- 
~ ual feast that follows. 

Click on the book, and it 
opens to reveal a yellowing 
page with a small full-motion 
video display. Within the dis- 
play is a flyby of a breathtak- 
ing, 3-D island world with soar- 
ing evergreens, majestic mar- 
ble temples, and a craggy 
coastline. A click within the vid- 

eo window drops you into 
Myst's spectacularly visual- 
ized world. 

As you move through sever- 
al worlds searching for clues, 
objects, and experiences to re- 
veal Myst's secrets, you'll 
piece together a tale of a bril- 
liant but possibly demented in- 
ventor, his overly ambitious 
sons, and a set of magical 
books that can be gateways 
to new worlds or oppressive 
prisons for unlikely souls. 

Wandering within Myst, you 
behold more and more of the 
rich visuals that designers 
Robyn and Rand Miller of 
Cyan meticulously developed 
in 3-D modeling programs 
and then exquisitely rendered 
in striking visual detail. While 
other games have used this 
technique to create their virtu- 
al-reality worlds, none have lav- 
ished such imaginative and 
tasteful art direction on a 
game. The lure of seeing all 
of Myst's stunning locales is a 
major motivator pulling you 
through the game. 

When you reduce Myst to 
its component parts, the 
game is just a latter-day com- 
puter adventure game. You 
puzzle out a story, find ob- 

jects, and then use them to 
achieve a final goal. But as 
with all breakthrough achieve- 
ments, Myst goes far beyond 
its roots. 

Myst's challenges aren't 
shoehorned into the land- 
scape. The puzzles, for the 
most part, are logically and in- 
tegrally linked to place, time, 
and story. Instead of confront- 
ing you with brainteasers that 
have no more purpose than ex- 
tending play time, Myst de- 
mands that you have a hands- 
on interactive experience ma- 
nipulating the clocks, valves, 
machinery, and gadgetry 
found in the game. To solve 
Myst, you must become a par- 
ticipant—rather than just a pas- 
serby — in this virtual world. 

Nor are Myst's graphics 
mere state-of-the-art decora- 
tion. The visual elements, 
from majestic architecture to 
evocative paraphernalia, pro- 
vide insight into the back- 
ground story, the characters, 
and the events of Myst. Fur- 
ther, under Robyn Miller's art 
direction, everything is ren- 
dered in elegant detail — wheth- 
er it's a grandly conceived ceil- 


ing fresco of clouds or a sub- 
tly sadistic collection of toys. 

Robyn also contributed 
one of the few computer- 
game musical scores that 
don't make you want to tear 
out your audio card. A moody 
mix of New Age atmosphere 
and old-fashioned movie mu- 
sic, the soundtrack provides 
a softly persuasive but dramat- 
ically supportive undercurrent 
to the sights and situations in 

Special mention must be 
made of Chris Brandkamp's 
impressive sound effects. His 
contribution adds the last bit 
of reality to Myst with lapping 
waves, gentle breezes, chirp- 
ing birds, and gear-crunching 
machinery. Note that these 
are no weak sound-card bur- 
bles, but brilliant digital sam- 
ples with the realer-than-real 
impact that we normally asso- 
ciate with motion-picture au- 
dio. Brandkamp's sounds are 
as essential to Myst's fantasy 
as explosions and gunshots 
are to an Arnold Schwarz- 
enegger action flick. You 
can't imagine one without the 

Finally, Myst overcomes 
the limits of adventure-game in- 
terfaces by almost entirely do- 
ing away with the interface. In 
Myst, what you see is what 
you click. An intelligent cursor 
changes appearance as you 
position it over potentially ac- 
tive objects. With no artificial 
computer layer between you 
and the game, Myst effective- 
ly lures you into its own reali- 
ty and enhances its hands-on 
illusion of life. 

One handy computer de- 
vice, however, is Zip mode. Af- 
ter exploring Myst and solving 
some puzzles, you'll find are- 
as that you can bypass with- 
out compromising gameplay. 
Activate Zip mode, and Myst 

turns your cursor into a tiny 
lightning bolt. Clicking on the 
bolt immediately transports 
you to a destination, bypass- 
ing the transition screens. As 
you near the game's end, the 
ability to rapidly traverse 
Myst's vast landscape aug- 
ments your progress as well 
as your enjoyment. 

Myst comes to MPC com- 
puters virtually intact from its 
original Macintosh release. 
Graphics, sound, and system 
performance are all on a par 
with those of the original. How- 
ever, take the system RAM re- 
quirements seriously. Myst 
needs at least 4MB of RAM; 
more will accelerate game- 
play. The game runs quite 
well on an 80386-33, but I rec- 
ommend a double-speed CD- 
ROM drive to shorten the nu- 
merous disc accesses. 

With its combination of CD- 
ROM technology, 3-D-ren- 
dered graphics, and puzzle- 
solving challenges, Myst inev- 
itably will be compared with 
that other groundbreaking CD- 
ROM game, Trilobyte's Sev- 
enth Guest, published by Vir- 
gin Software. 

On the technology front, 
Guest can boast full-motion 
video movement that Myst 
lacks. As you go from point to 
point in Trilobyte's game, you 
smoothly move forward as if 
you were actually walking 
through a haunted mansion. 
Myst, in contrast, contains hun- 
dreds of still images with lim- 
ited full-motion video inserts. 
Transitions between locations 
consist of simple dissolves 
from one still to the next, al- 
though you can speed up 
gameplay by eliminating 
those somewhat time-consum- 
ing transitions. 

In Myst, the problem solv- 
ing is fully a part of the story 
and surroundings. On this cri- 

terion, Myst surpasses 
Guest, whose puzzles are ar- 
bitrarily tacked onto the envi- 
ronment. And the worlds of 
Myst, in addition to being larg- 
er in scope, exceed those of 
the competition in concept 
and execution. 

Finally, while Guest takes 
the lead for inventive uses of 
live-action video, Myst pulls 
ahead on the music-and- 
sound front with a sweeping 

IBM PC or 
compatible (33- 
MHz 803819 or 
taster, 80486 
or higher SVGA, 
tiartf drive Willi 
4MB tree, CD-ROM 
drive, mouse, 

soundtrack that outdoes The 
Fat Man's routine music for 
Guest. But we're talking 
about the difference between 
great and great here. Both 
products are cutting-edge 

To add to Myst's riches, 
the CD-ROM includes a 14- 
minute digital movie, The Mak- 
ing of Myst. This behind-the- 
scenes look discusses the 
people, technology, and ef- 
fort that were involved in devel- 
oping Myst. 

Myst is a watershed 
achievement in games that's 
not likely to be surpassed un- 
til the Millers create the inevi- 
table (and highly anticipated) 
sequel. It ranks with those 
rare computer games that are 
equally satisfying as story, as 
technology showcase, and as 
interactive entertainment. D 

Circle Reader Service Number 393 

Windows 3.t, 
Sound Blaster or 
compatible sound 
card— $55 

P.O. Box 6121 
Novate, CA 



Denny Atkin 

Wrath ol the 

Gods is Greek to 

me, and 

Battledrome Is 


Herculean effort. 


What do you get when you 
combine Greek mythology 
with a touch of Bill and Ted? 
You get Wrath of the Gods, 
the first game from upstart pub- 
lisher Luminaria. This CD- 
ROM graphic adventure 
(you'll want a double-speed 
drive) is faithful to classic 
Greek myths, but it tosses in 
bits of dialogue like "Surprised 
to find Hercules in Hades? 
These are the Elysian Fields, 
where the cool guys go when 
they croak." 

The game is packed with 
smooth-scrolling animation, 
dozens of digitized back- 
grounds of actual Greek sites, 

and 300 digital movies of he- 
roes, gods, and monsters. But 
unlike most prior games de- 
signed specifically for CD- 
ROM, Wrath of the Gods actu- 
ally features a good underly- 
ing game. It's not the most dif- 
ficult adventure game you'll ev- 
er play, but neither is it a col- 
lection of video clips wrapped 
around very few player choic- 
es, as too many of its predeces- 
sors are. A small icon box at 
the bottom of the screen offers 
a few basic choices: walk to, 
pick up, look at, talk to, and in- 

ventory. Choose an icon; then 
click your pointer on objects to 
manipulate them. 

The puzzles are mostly of 
the typical "find the right ob- 
ject to complete your goal" va- 
riety, but they're not just ran- 
dom obstacles tossed in your 
way. In fact, many of the puz- 
zles are based upon actual de- 
cisions encountered in mytho- 
logical quests. You can pull 
up an Info window that de- 
scribes the mythological ana- 
logue of the current scene 
(complete with an historical 
painting or picture of a Greek 
artifact), which can offer hints 
as to how to solve the puzzle. 
If that's not enough, you can 
use Wrath's innovative Oracle 
help system, which offers pro- 
gressively more direct hints in 
exchange for some of the 
points you've earned. 

Along the way you'll encoun- 
ter gods including Hermes, 
Athena, Zeus, and Hera, as 
well as monsters such as the 
Hydra, Cyclops, and Medusa. 
The humans and gods are por- 
trayed by actors who do a pret- 
ty good job of it— the acting is 
generally on a par with what 
you'd find at a local play- 
house, but with dialogue like 
"Hey, dude, We can't fightyou 
if you don't have a blade," 
you're not going to expect the 
Royal Shakespeare Company 
anyway. The monsters are ren- 
dered using stop-motion anima- 
tion that's just wonderful — bet- 
ter in many respects than what 
we've seen in the old Har- 
ryhausen films. 

With over 40 hours of game- 
play, one of the best combina- 
tions of multimedia and story 
line yet, and historical educa- 
tional value, Wrath of the 
Gods should be a real winner. 

Dynamite Dynamix. I just re- 
ceived early beta versions of 
two of Dynamix's summer re- 
leases, and it looks like I may 
have to cancel that beach 
trip, Metaltech: Battledrome is 
a giant robot fighting game to 

pJay with your best friend (or 
worst enemy), while Aces of 
the Deep takes the Dynamix 3- 
Space graphics engine on a 
dive from the skies into the 
deep seas. 

In Battledrome you pilot a 
large robot called a Hercule- 
an in an arena battle against 
another Here. Choose your 
mount from a variety of Hercs 
of different capabilities; then en- 
hance it with your choice of 
weapons, armor, internal com- 
ponents, and even custom col- 
or schemes. Then it's off to the 
arena to toss laser bolts and 
missiles at the bad guy. The 
sound is spectacular, with rock- 
in' tunes, but the graphics are 
fairly simple, with polygon ro- 
bots and a cartoonish heads- 
up display. Gameplay against 
the computer is interesting, 
but not groundbreaking. Bat- 
tledrome comes into its own 
when you duel another player 
via modem. There are few 
joys greater than admiring the 
meticulous construction of a 
friend's Here and then blow- 
ing it to smithereens. If you 
have a friend with a modem 
who's a local call away, you 
should definitely pick this 
game up. 

Aces of the Deep lets you 
take the helm of seven differ- 
ent U-boat types for missions 
ranging over the entire course 
of World War II. Attack mer- 
chant shipping in the Caribbe- 
an early in the war when the 
Germans enjoyed a tactical ad- 
vantage, or just try to stay alive 
in the North Atlantic in May 
1945. Graphics are a cut 
above those in the Dynamix 
flight sims, and the fast-mov- 
ing waves on the heavy seas 
are stunningly realistic— you'd 
better stock up on Dramamine 
before booting this baby. 
You'll face a variety of surface 
ships in individual missions 
and campaigns, and you'll 
have to watch the skies for at- 
tack aircraft. This game is def- 
initely not subpar. D 



J»iW W'Att** 




Mi . 



/orid as we know 
about to be destroyed 
:ombie dinosaurs from 
prehistoric times! Zapped by Brain 
Blobs from the planet Zeltoid, 
innocent dinosaurs are being 
time-warped from the past as part 
Jar ry the Harrier's very uncool 
t to control the world. Only 
id Dexter the awesome 
J :an stop him and 
/e the earth! 

, 3§§fe* 


ii ■■ << m* wei # n 

I 1 '" 'i I' <vi | I i, i 'i ii ,. boos, »tk 
All rights reserved O IW Philips 


i7 14) 553-6678 


^ V 


'* ,v 










or years, computer-game 
enthusiasts have enjoyed 
great success conquer- 
ing alien hordes, outwitting evil 
wizards, and battling maGh- 
speed bandits. However, their 
most elusive adversary doesn't 
reside on a hard disk or CD- 
ROM: It's the widespread notion 
that computer games are a sim- 
plistic, mindless 
form of entertain- 
ment. These days, 
nothing could be 
farther from the 

Software pub- 
lishers and hard- 
ware manufacturers have long 
understood the potential of per- 
sonal computers as 
learning tools. Edu- 
cational software 
has grand intentions 
and often sells well, 
but it suffers in com- 
parison to today's 
exciting entertainment prod- 
ucts. One of the hottest 
industry buzzwords is edu- 
tainment, a noble attempt to 
help educational software break 
out of its traditional niche market. 
This piggyback approach some- 
times fails, though; ironically, the 
intended audience might endure 
dull academics, but won't sit still 
for inferior gameplay, 

It's not surprising, therefore, 
that some of the most enduring 
and valuable software teaching 
tools were never intended to 
be educational. These are 
games first and foremost. 
They're designed to entertain, 
but in the process they enlight- 
en players. The final results are 
neither education by rote nor 
lessons sugarcoated and 
force-fed; you experience real- 
world learning through fun and 

practical applications. 

Simulations account for the 
majority of these titles, provid- 
ing interactive experiences 
whose value extends far 
beyond the computer screen. 
There are, however, excellent 
products in other genres— such 
as arcade, sports, and strategy 
games— which incorporate 






knowledge that's beneficial out- 
side the realm of computers. 
Although each program's rela- 
tive importance is, of course, 
subject to individual interests, 
the titles covered in this article 
are excellent examples of this 
seemingly paradoxical class of 
software: games that are good 
for you. 

(Sim)Ltfe Lessons 

While most games fall unwit- 
tingly into the realm of real- 
world education, Maxis (800- 
336-2947) actively pursues the 
art of incidental learning with 
its revolutionary "software 
toys," Indeed, nearly every title 
En the publisher's catalog men 

its special mention, 

It all began with the 1989 
release of StmCity ($39.95), 
designed by Maxis cofounder 
Will Wright. Your job, as mayor 
and chief city pianner, is to cre- 
ate order out of chaos. Start 
with one of eight existing city 
scenarios or build a new one 
from scratch. Design optimum 
living areas for your 
simulated citizens, with 
all the trimmings: facto- 
ries, schools, recre- 
ational areas, farms, 
and church- 
es. Beneath 
this soft outer 
layer of calm, 
however, rage 
responsibilities. You must 
worry about power and 
resources, traffic control fire 
and police protection, 
unemployment, infla- 
tion, air pollution, and 
many other factors. 
Then there are the 
random elements, 
such as natural disasters (tor- 
nadoes, earthquakes, and 
floods) and even rampaging 
monsters (a not so subtle 
reminder that it's only a game). 
Wright and codesigner Fred 
Haslam have recently come full 
circle with the release of 
SimCity 2000 ($69.95). Beyond 
the 3-D SVGA graphics and 
crisp stereo sound, the big 
news is an even more complex 
integration of highway sys- 
tems, public transportation, 
higher education, museums, 
parks, zoos, prisons, and 
more. A new multi layered inter- 
face lets you control both 
degree of difficulty and simula- 
tion detail More than ever, the 


game offers a hands-on understand- 
ing of city services, from bus lines and 
water systems to the complex and 
often controversial area of land-zoning 
ordinances. Learn to interpret and 
react to detailed feedback from con- 
cerned constituents and government 
subordinates — much of which, true to 
life, is rarely complimentary. Learn the 
advantages and drawbacks of differ- 
ent types of city power supplies, from 
inexpensive but dirty nuclear and coal 
generators to clean but expensive 
wind, solar, and hydroelectric plants. 

So what can we learn from these 
games? For one thing, that being 
mayor of a metropolis isn't all it's 
cracked up to be (with or without 
monsters). More important, the games 
provide a firm grasp on a community's 
overall structure, as well as how 
changes in one area directly or indi- 
rectly affect another. As an interactive 
model of urban engineering, the 
SimCity games are simple enough to 
allow easy access, yet amazingly 
sophisticated in their insight into the 
myriad sociological ingredients that 
decide quality of life. Whether either 
game inspires future city planners is 
yet to be seen, but the tools are cer- 
tainly here to spark imagination and 

Other popular titles from Maxis take 
game-based resource management to 
disparate extremes. SimEarth ($49.95) 
puts you in charge of an entire planet, 
where you can tweak and tune the 
biosphere and then study the results. 
In the game, you'll get a firsthand look 
at the delicate balance of nature — 
from atmospheric science to plate tec- 
tonics — with an astonishingly accurate 
planetary model. For the ultimate so- 
called god sim, Maxis offers SimLife 
($49.95), allowing you to create your 
own ecosystem from the ground up, 
all within a surprisingly addicting 
game environment. Dabble in gene 
splicing and slicing, plant and animal 
mutations — or study the effects of both 
natural and man-made ecological dis- 
asters on the survival of your race of 
sim creatures. 

A little closer to home — for some, in 
fact, right out the back door — Maxis 
offers SimFarm ($49.95), arguably the 
most practical of the Sim series. Learn 
the ins and outs of agriculture, from 
planting and harvesting to livestock 
and market fluctuations, without get- 
ting your fingers dirty. You'll never 
take our food supply for granted again 
after walking a mile in the boots of this 
complex, frustrating, and incredibly 
rewarding simulation. When you tire of 
scratching the surface, dig a little 
deeper and uncover SimAnt ($49.95), 
the Maxis electronic ant farm. If the rat 


race has you bugged, try life and 
death in this fascinating microcosm, 
battling killer spiders, ant lions, lawn 
mowers, pesticides, and giant feet. 
More than an ant's-eye view of ento- 
mology, the game draws striking simi- 
larities between social orders above 
and below ground. As with all Maxis 
games, half of the fun comes from the 
product manuals, which rate among 
the best written, most informative, 
and most entertaining in the business. 

Be All That You Can Be 

One of the greatest benefits provided 
by computer simulations is the ability 
to learn through experience, in activi- 
ties that might otherwise be beyond 

Some flight schools accept hours logged on 
to MS Flight Simulator 5 as part of training. 

SimCity offers amazing insight into the socio- 
logical elements that decide quality of life. 

our reach. Not everyone can take a 
shuttle to the moon or race a $2 mil- 
lion car at Indianapolis, but these 
games offer viable alternatives for the 
rest of us. If you'd like to learn to fly, 
for example, you can't do better than 
Microsoft Flight Simulator 5 (Microsoft, 
800-495-4242, $54.95), the premier 
PC flight simulation. The program puts 
you in the cockpit of a Cessna 182 
RG, a Learjet 35 A, a Schweizer 2-32 
sailplane, and even a Sopwith Camel. 
This is serious fun, introducing you to 
basic and advanced aerodynamics in 
a sensory-rich environment. It's so 
realistic, in fact, that many flight 
schools accept hours logged on to 
the game as part of your initial train- 
ing. From here you can graduate to 
any number of vintage or modern air 
combat simulations, learning more 
about history, sophisticated military 
hardware, and the dynamics of flight 

in a wide variety of friendly and hostile 
scenarios. Some of the best air com- 
bat sims that strive to teach as well as 
entertain include Red Baron 
(Dynamix, 800-757-7707, $49.95), 
Chuck Yeager's Air Combat 
(Electronic Arts, 800-245-4525, 
$59.95), Falcon 3.0 (Spectrum 
HoloByte, 800-695-4263, $79.95), and 
Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe 
(LucasArts, 415-721-3300, $49.95). 

One game deserving special men- 
tion is Stunt Island (Disney Software, 
800-688-1520, $59.95), a rare 
crossover title that combines a wild 
assortment of 45 accurately simulated 
aircraft — from prop planes and jet 
fighters to hang gliders and space 
shuttles — and Hollywood-style cine- 
matography. You'll don many hats on 
this job: production designer, prop 
master, stunt pilot, director, and film 
editor. These individual components 
are flawlessly integrated into one of 
the most original works ever to grace 
the computer screen. Endlessly chal- 
lenging and educational, this is the 
one you'd want to have if stranded on 
the proverbial desert isle. 

Buzz Aldrin's Race into Space 
(Interplay, 800-969-4263, $69.95) 
combines science, history, and poli- 
tics in a captivating one- or two-player 
game, simulating the real-life U.S.- 
Soviet race to the moon. Besides 
learning high-tech goal setting and 
mission planning, you'll find yourself 
embroiled in a realistic portrayal of 
tension-filled Cold War politics. Other 
outstanding business, political, and 
resource management games include 
Railroad Tycoon (MicroProse, 800- 
879-7529, $69.95), Rags to Riches 
(Interplay, $59.95), A-Train Construc- 
tion Set (Maxis, $69.95), Air Bucks 
(Impressions, 203-676-9002, $59.95), 
and Shadow President (DC True, 708- 
866-1864, $49.95). 

Computer games also help blow 
the cobwebs off history lessons, 
which come alive within the context of 
interactive entertainment. At the top of 
this list is Sid Meier's epic game of 
human survival, Civilization (Micro- 
Prose, $59.95), a fascinating portal to 
the past and, depending on how you 
play it, a glimpse of the future. 
Splendidly drawn from the pages of 
world history, it's the perfect primer for 
both history buffs and budding social 
anthropologists. War games, by 
nature, are also rich with social, politi- 
cal, and military history. The best 
encompass more than the battles they 
re-create, attempting to impart greater 
understanding of the real-world 
events before, during, and after the 
conflict. This field is extremely well 
represented, but suggested titles 




See ftte Cantim space Eiatries. hiprspace arid moie. 

Enjopn insider s view - character 
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* . 

Behind everii great film is i 
screen saver. Star Wars Screen 
Entertainment brings your monitor 
screen savers and more... 
the concepts, original art, 

For Windows and Macintosh • At your favorite 
software retailer or call 1-800-STARWARS 

animation, sounds, even 

a special message from 

George Lucas. Now Star Wars is 

on iiour computer -Screen 

Entertainment has arrived. 

might include the V for Victory series 
(Three-Sixty Pacific, 800-653-1360, 
$69.95 each), Gettysburg: The 
Turning Point (SSI, 408-737-6800, 
$59.95), Great Naval Battles (SSI, 
$69.95), and Harpoon II (Three-Sixty 
Pacific, $69.95). 

It Takes One to Know One 

Sometimes, the best way to learn a 
new game is to play it first on the 
computer. This is especially true in the 
area of sports, where simulations can 
not only help improve your real-world 
performance but also provide an 
excellent resource for learning the his- 
tory, rules, and technical background 
of your favorite sport. In the realm of 
golf, you can do no better than David 
Leadbetter's Greens (MicroProse, 
$59.95), without a doubt the finest 
instructional golf simulation on the 
market. Leadbetter, one of the most 

highly regarded golf instructors in the 
world, leads you through both basic 
and advanced play. Test your skills on 
the exquisite 3-D-modeled courses, 
featuring more than a dozen single- or 
multiplayer game variations, including 
modem play. Digital duffers will also 
want to check out Microsoft Golf, 
which includes live video instruction 
on its CD-ROM version ($64.95). 

Armchair quarterbacks who can't 
tell a free agent from a goalpost will 
find Front Page Sports: Football Pro 
(Dynamix, $69.95) the ultimate simula- 
tion of their favorite sport. The game 
tackles professional pigskin from the 
gridiron to the locker room and all the 
way to the front office. In this action 
game, you'll learn what it takes to read 
defenses or contain a driving offense. 
As head coach, turn to the chalkboard 
to design and test new plays and for- 
mations. And as general manager and 

team owner, learn to trade for top 
players. Other sports games that offer 
an informative look behind the scenes 
include APBA Baseball for Windows 
(Miller Associates, 800-654-5472, 
$69.95), IndyCar Racing (Papyrus 
Publishing, 800-874-4607, $74.95), 
World Circuit (MicroProse, $59.95), 
NHL Hockey (Electronic Arts, $69.95), 
and Jack Nicklaus Golf and Course 
Design, Signature Edition (Accolade, 
800-245-7744, $44.95). 

Closing the Books 

Next time you get the urge to boot up 
a game, remember that you often do 
learn something while you're having 
fun. The programs mentioned in this 
article illustrate the fact that a pro- 
gram doesn't have to be dry and staid 
to be educational. With apologies to 
Shakespeare, when it comes to learn- 
ing, sometimes the play's the thing. □ 

Hollywood's growing influence on 
the computer-game industry leads 
many to believe that interactive soft- 
ware poses a viable alternative to 
more passive television viewing. 
Likewise, teachers such as Tom 
Dubick of Charlotte, North Carolina, 
are among a growing number of 
educators who see many of today's 
sophisticated computer games as 
exciting alternatives to traditionally 
passive textbook materials. 

Dubick teaches seventh-grade 
science, as well as seventh- and 
eighth-grade engineering, at 
Charlotte Latin School. His students 
use a wide variety of games as 
hands-on learning tools. One exam- 
ple is Disney Software's Coaster 
($39.95), which the students use to 
study acceleration and velocity by 
building roller coasters. Dubick's stu- 
dents even served as beta testers for 
the final product, and they routinely 
apply their software discoveries with 
field trips to local amusement parks. 

Flight simulators appear to be the 
most popular interactive teaching 
tools. Dubick's students use several: 
Microsoft Flight Simulator 5, for basic 
avionics and flight instruction; Falcon 
3,0, where they learn the difference 
between potential and kinetic energy; 
and Flight Sim Toolkit (Domark, 800- 
695-4263, $89.95), where they not 
only learn 3-D modeling and aircraft 
design but also enjoy immediate, 
invaluable feedback on their work. 
Such response is often the spark 
needed to launch young minds into 
new worlds of academic interest, 

Learning to Have Fun 

"We've got kids doing 'hard' math, 
science, and art," Dubick says, 'and 
having fun at it." He hopes to use 
programs such as Flight Sim Toolkit 
to stage virtual fly-ins with other like- 
minded schools, where kids can 
model their own aircraft, compete in 
air races, and then discuss the prin- 
ciples of design with fellow students. 
Dubick also sees this approach to 
learning as a way of breaking down 

Wif! game software replace school textbooks? 

barriers. "Everyone can compete," he 
says, "because the computer doesn't 
care if you're male or female, black or 
white, young or old, physically chal- 
lenged or whatever." 

Other games used by Dubick's 
students include IndyCar Racing, 
The Even More Incredible Machine 
(Dynamix, $29.95), Castles (Inter- 
play, $19.95), Rome; Pathway to 
Power (Maxis, $29,95), Virtual Reality 
Studio 2,0 (Domark, $79.95). and A- 
Train Construction Set. "When the 
kids get involved with A-Train and 
their business is losing money/' he 
notes, "it forces them to do some 

fairly advanced calculations, but it's 
so much fun that they don't think 
about it as work." Indeed, Dubick 
finds his program so effective that 
kids gladly work on classroom 
assignments after school. 

But will using entertainment soft- 
ware in the classroom cause kids to 
find traditional textbooks boring? u l 
think it changes the way kids will 
approach passive learning," Dubick 
says. On the other hand, the more 
interest these games spark in sub- 
jects like math and science, the more 
kids will realize they must hit the 
books to learn more. Will software 
replace textbooks, or worse, will 
computers replace teachers? Dubick 
doesn't think so. However, he con- 
tends that computers are definitely 
changing the role of the teacher — 
from dispenser of passive education 
to someone who actively directs stu- 
dents' pursuit of knowledge. "Some 
teachers feel threatened by it," he 
admits, but he sees computers as 
important tools, just like pencils and 
paper, that schools should be using 
in their repertoire of teaching tools. 

"The dilemma," Dubick warns, "is 
that it's really easy for it to just 
become a toy, just a game, You can't 
allow the classroom to become play- 
time because there's so much to be 
learned." In effect, teachers are 
forced to become computer-literate — 
to learn the software and develop a 
curriculum. "When it's going well," he 
beams, "I have to chase kids out of 
my class when the bell rings," Ail 
teachers should be so lucky. 


Paranoid population. 
Psychotic criminals. 
Power hungry corporations. - 
*6 i g f Broth er gove r n m ef> 1 1 * s '." \ 
Haves and have nots. ' 

America^ '. 


', . ' 



.-;' - 

• 4 * 

In a city only The Watchmen's Dave Gibbons'could create. J* 
In a future only Virtual Theatre could make real. 
In a world oril£ you can save. 

^SW ' 


Available on 

' • ' 

Circle Header Service riumber 146 



If you're still struggling along 
in Windows with a 386 stand- 
ard-bus machine, you may 
wonder if a 486 VESA sys- 
tem might help. The answer 
is definitely. Compared with 
a 386-40 8MB ISA machine, 
the DataStor 486 DX2-66 
ran four times faster in a 
benchmark that was de- 
signed to predict PC perform- 
ance with word-processing, 
spreadsheet, and draw and 
paint programs. 

This DataStor system has 
8MB of RAM (eight 1MBx 9 
SIMMs) that are expandable 
to 32MB, a 245MB 15-ms 
Maxtor hard drive, a sound 
card, a CD-ROM drive, two 
VESA local-bus slots (one 
free), four 16-bit slots (three 
free), 5 1 /4- and 3 1 /2-inch flop- 
py drives, and 256K of 
cache memory. It uses the 

The Toshiba XM-3401B in- 
ternal dual-spin SCSI-II CD- 
ROM drive, both single- and 
multisession Photo CD-com- 
patible, is plenty fast, but it 
requires disk caddies — per- 
haps more reliable but less 
convenient. Its front panel in- 
cludes a headphone jack, 
volume control, busy light, 
and eject button. 

Supplying the video is an 
STB PowerGraph VL-24 S3- 
based VESA Windows accel- 
erator card with 1MB of 
RAM. It's quick and steady, 
supporting 1024 x 768 256- 
color 70-Hz noninterlaced 
mode for reduced flicker 
and image bounce. Maxi- 
mum resolution is 1280 x 
1024 with 16 colors, the 
greatest color depth is 16.7 
million at 640 x 480, and 
the highest text resolution is 
132 x 50 at 16 colors. 

The 14-inch nonglare Su- 
per VGA Philips monitor 
with 0.28-mm dot pitch is ca- 


If you're thinking of upgrading and can't spring for a Pentium, 
DataStor's 486 DX2-66 makes a nice alternative. 

pable of a wide range of non- 
interlaced and interlaced 
modes. Not only do you 
have the usual controls, but 
you can also patch the out- 
put of your sound card into 
the back of the monitor and 
conveniently use the head- 
phone jack and volume con- 
trol on the monitor's front 
panel. (Headphones and ca- 
bles are included.) 

The system's Sound Gal- 
axy NX Pro 16 stereo sound 
card, with standard ports 
and a SCSI CD-ROM drive 
interface, supports Sound 
Blaster Pro II, Ad Lib, Win- 
dows Sound System, CO- 
VOX Speech Thing, and Dis- 
ney Sound Source. Digital 
playback and FM synthe- 
sized sounds are good, and 
you can also upgrade to 16- 
bit PCM wave-table synthe- 
sis for sampled instrument 

Sound software includes 
utilities for mixing sound, 

playing audio CDs, playing 
MIDI/WAV/VOC files, and 
converting text to speech; a 
Windows OLE utility for cre- 
ating voice annotations; and 
a Windows audio program 
that works somewhat like a 
home stereo. 

A great 101-key tactile- 
click keyboard and a Lo- 
gitech serial mouse round 
out this DataStor system 
nicely. Two serial ports, one 
9-pin and one 25-pin (nei- 
ther has a 16550 buffered 
UART); a parallel port; and 
a game port are all drawn 
off the motherboard. 

There are three 5 1 A-inch 
and two 3 1 /2-inch bays and 
a 230-watt power supply. Ac- 
cess to the inside of the com- 
puter is easy, layout is unclut- 
tered, and the processor 
and SIMM sockets are easy 
to reach. 

Laser Resources' CD- 
ROM Library for DOS, bun- 
dled with the 486-66, in- 

cludes Software Toolworks' 
Multimedia Encyclopedia 
5.0, World Atlas 3.0, U.S. At- 
las 3.0, and Reference Li- 
brary (which includes a spell- 
ing checker, thesaurus, dic- 
tionary, quotations source, 
concise writing guide, and 
more). And you get a pretty 
decent assortment of DOS 
games with this system: 
Chessmaster 2100, Beyond 
the Black Hole, Lucas Arts' 
Secret Weapons of the Luft- 
waffe, Life & Death (a medi- 
cal game), Gin King, Crib- 
bage King, Backgammon, 
Robot Tank, Loopz, and Puz- 
zle Gallery at the Carnival. 

DataStor supplies and in- 
stalls both DOS and Win- 
dows and also includes 
HSC InterActive, a multime- 
dia-authoring system. 

If you're thinking of up- 
grading and can't spring for 
a Pentium, a 486-66 VESA 
system with at least 8MB of 
RAM might be a good 
choice. DataStor certainly 
makes a nice one. 


Data Storage Marketing 

(800) 543-6098 


Circle Reader Service Number 434 


So, Cha-Cha, it seems that 
lately your computer's CD- 
ROM drive is filled with noth- 
ing but information highway 
road kill, eh? If you'd like to 
use multimedia to access 
something more exciting 
than complete rainfall statis- 
tics for London back to the 
year 11, then Dennis Miller, 
That's News to Me may be 
just what you seek — serious 

If you've enjoyed Dennis 
Miller's comedy on "Satur- 
day Night Live" or his Home 

From Heidi Fteiss to the Bobbins, if it made news in 1993, it's likely 
to be made fun of in Dennis Miller, That's News to Me. 

Box Office specials, you'll en- 
joy this unique, biting look 
back on 1993. The CD-ROM 
chronicles the top stories of 
1993 and features more 
than 200 different topics in 
four categories: world 
news, politics, sports, and 
show biz. Each news story 
is presented by Dennis Mill- 
er in a short, full-color digit- 
ized video. From Heidi 
Fleiss to the Bobbitts, if it 
made news in 1993, it's like- 
ly to be made fun of in 
That's News to Me. 

This is the first offering in 
Sanctuary Woods' I Laugh 
series. The company has al- 
so released Dennis Miller, 
That's Geek to Me, which 
gives his definitions of more 
than 180 computer and mul- 
timedia terms. (Don't cancel 
that computer course, 

If you're a fan of Dennis 
Miller's biting, sarcastic 
brand of humor, That's 
News to Me will be a wel- 
come addition to your CD- 
ROM collection. If you think 
I'm going to give away any 
of the punch lines, though, 
you're sadly mistaken, Cha- 
Cha. Suffice it to say that 
1993 was a very funny year. 

And before I tell you the one 
that keeps me laughing, I 
am outta here! 


Sanctuary Woods 



Circle Reader Service Number 435 


Retooled for greater efficien- 
cy and maximum enjoy- 
ment, Comanche CD is defi- 
nitely not just another exam- 
ple of shovelware (floppy- 
based computer games hast- 
ily crammed onto a mostly 
empty CD-ROM in an at- 
tempt to cash in on the mul- 
timedia craze). Not only 
does this package combine 
the best-selling original and 
three mission expansion 
sets (for a total of 100 mis- 
sions), but the game's flight 
model and memory handling 
appear to have been signifi- 
cantly tweaked. Contrary to 
past experience, the CD- 
ROM version of Comanche 
actually runs smoother, fast- 
er, and more reliably than 
the floppy-based original. 

The game simulates tacti- 
cal air combat aboard the 


L [ 

The second release 
in the Amtex Pinball 
Classic Series of 
adaptations of real 
pinball machines, 
Royal Flush brings 
the experience of 
REAL pinball to the 

jokers are wild in 
this pinbatl poker 

delight as you try for your five 

\ card combinations by targeting 

\ nine drop targets, three kick- 

^ >A out saucers and three bonus 

jfl rollover lanes. Wide open, 

I fast paced and challenging! 

I Features 

I : • Two exciting ways to 
1 play. You have the choice of 
playing this great game on 
either a dynamic, 
scrolling screen or the 
new, hi -res stationary 

• Authentic back box 
adjustments. Swing open 
the back box and set 
your game for 3 -ball or 
Shall - even adjust the 
replay thresholds, incline 
and voltage. 

• Magnet Ball Mode. Use your mouse to 
activate a powerful magnet, then draw the 
ball around to explore game strategy at will. 

Look for Tristan ™ and Eight Ball Deluxe™ 
in stores now. Available for both IBM PC 

and Macintosh systems. 
Eight Ball Deluxe Version 2 Now Available. 

For product information contact: 

AMTEX Software Corporation 

P.O. Box 57Z W Betleville r Ontario 

Canada K8N 5B2 Or call 

(613) 967*7900 Fax (613) 967 7902 

Circle Reader Service Number 261 


Boeing-Sikorsky RAH-66 Co- 
manche attack helicopter. 
Because this amazing vehi- 
cle is still in the prototype 
stage—the U.S. Army's real 
Comanche isn't slated for ac- 
tive service until 1999 — the 
game's flight model is 
based on a combination of 
conjecture and applied phys- 
ics. Likewise, the combat set- 
tings are pure fantasy with a 
hint of real-world conflicts. 

Newcomers to the world 
of helicopter simulations will 
appreciate the multiple train- 
ing missions. Here you'll 
learn to use the craft's inte- 
grated computer-controlled 
navigation, sensor, and 
weapon systems. You'll ap- 
preciate the Comanche's 
ground-hugging flight capa- 
bilities (due to the air cush- 
ion created by your rotor 
blades) as well as the auto- 
mated fly-by-wire ground-dis- 
tancing sensors. The use of 
terrain masking — flying low 
amid mountains, valleys, 
and tree lines to avoid detec- 
tion — is key to your suc- 
cess. Simplified controls 
make this bird a breeze to 
fly, lending the game a 
slight arcade-style feel, 
which might put off hard- 
core flight sim enthusiasts. 
Otherwise, it's fast, fun, and 
tremendously challenging. 

Missions are divided 
among nine campaign 
groups. There are 12 environ- 
ments, including arctic, de- 
sert, and jungle settings, 
each having unique charac- 
teristics. Individual missions 
also vary according to objec- 
tives, ordnance, enemy 
types, friendly support, and 
overall difficulty. Enemy intel- 
ligence ranges from surpris- 
ingly weak (Operations Over- 
load and Silver Dome) to 
wickedly tenacious (Opera- 
tions Terminal Velocity and 
Over the Edge). 

Graphics are often stun- 
ning, utilizing NovaLogic's 


Comanche CD's mesmerizing graphics speed, rich color palettes, 
and 3-D effects help draw you into the overall combat experience. 

Voxel Space technology, 
which generates photorealis- 
tic fractal imagery on the fly. 
Many closeup renderings 
are a bit chunky because of 
the low 320 x 200 VGA res- 
olution. But the graphics 
speed, rich color palettes, 
and 3-D effects are mesmer- 
izing, drawing you into the 
overall experience. The CD- 
ROM version also offers dig- 
ital stereo sound and expres- 
sive full-speech capabilities 
for all on-board systems 
and pilot communications. 
What enhancements are 
missing from the CD-ROM? 
How about an on-board mis- 
sion recorder or, consider- 
ing the game's speedy 
graphics engine, a head-to- 
head modem option? 

System requirements are 
high, but not unusually so: Al- 
though a 386SX is the mini- 
mum configuration, the 
game plays best on a 
midrange 486DX or Pentium- 
based computer. The CD 
performs extremely well in a 
single-speed CD-ROM 
drive, even without software 
caching, In fact, because it 
runs in the computer's 32- 
bit native mode, most users 
will have to create a bare- 

bones boot disk or DOS 6 
configuration, sans expand- 
ed memory managers and 
extraneous device drivers. 

Comanche CD can't be- 
gin to compete with other 
high-end flight simulations in 
terms of depth of gameplay 
or strategic diversity. Howev- 
er, for cinematic graphics 
and pulse-pounding action, 
this value-packed CD edi- 
tion will keep you glued to 
the edge of your seat. 



Distributed by Electronic Arts 

(800) 245-4525 


Circle Reader Service Number 436 


The 1994 edition of The 
New Grolier Multimedia Ency- 
clopedia contains the text of 
21 volumes of Grolier's Aca- 
demic American Encyclope- 
dia. It also adds sights and 
sounds, as well as tools to 
help you quickly find informa- 

tion in over 32,000 articles. 

Grolier's toolbar puts 
most functions just one 
click away. As you'd expect, 
Grolier lets you view and 
search an article title list, a 
word index, and an exten- 
sive list of historical events. 
In addition, there are specif- 
ic indices for sounds, regu- 
lar and multimedia maps, pic- 
tures, videos, and anima- 
tions. When Grolier displays 
an article, the available op- 
tions appear in an icon bar 
above the text. This lets you 
access an outline, an anima- 
tion, a sound, or another re- 
lated special element with a 
mouse click. 

The Knowledge Tree lets 
you enter the encyclopedia 
by area of interest. The 
main branches of this ex- 
panding outline are The 
Arts, Geography, History, Sci- 
ence, Society and Technol- 
ogy. The Knowledge Explor- 
er provides narrated multime- 
dia essays on general top- 
ics. The titles include Asia, 
Australia, and the Pacific; Eu- 
rope; Foundations of Sci- 
ence; Human Body; Music; 
North America; Painting and 
Sculpture; Physical Earth; 
Plant World; South America; 
and Space Exploration. 

Multimedia Maps are ani- 
mated maps with narration 
which show important events 
like the colonization of Ameri- 
ca and the spread of the Ro- 
man Empire. Some of the bet- 
ter ones are related to wars 
and conflicts in which the 
U.S. has been involved (nota- 
bly missing are maps of the 
World Wars). Other general- 
topic animations, which also 
include narration, are useful 
learning tools. 

Like other CD-ROM ency- 
clopedias, Grolier lets you 
jump to articles via highlight- 
ed words in the text. And, 
since it's easy to forget 
where you found information, 
you can set bookmarks. 

The Multimedia Maps feature of The New Grolier Multimedia 
Encyclopedia narrates and animates important historical events. 

When it's time to produce 
a report, Grolier lets you 
print or save articles to disk 
(it supports appending, so 
you can build one file from 
many sources). Other items, 
including some graphics, 
may be saved and printed. 

Like most CD-ROM ency- 
clopedias, Grolier is broad 
but not extremely deep in its 
coverage. It has plenty of vis- 
ual material, but its interface 
is less visual and more text 
oriented than Microsoft En- 
carta's. Still, it entertains 
while educating, making it 
one of the best choices 
from the current crop of 
CD-ROM encyclopedias. 


Grolier Electronic Publishing 

(800) 356-5590 


$149.95 (competitive upgrade) 

Circle Reader Service Number 437 


Since Compaq is the most 
experienced maker of IBM- 
compatible personal comput- 
ers, Compaq's PCs are a fre- 
quent choice for conserva- 
tive buyers. Compaq's repu- 

tation for solid service and 
overall quality helps it main- 
tain its hold on a large 
chunk of the corporate PC 
market, where these sturdy 
virtues are most honored. 
While the Presario 425 
might have a nontraditional 
layout, combining the moni- 
tor and the CPU in a single 
case, it's cut from the same 
worsted-wool cloth as Com- 
paq's higher-priced models. 
There isn't much excite- 
ment, but there's plenty of 
necessary functionality. 

The all-in-one package in- 
cludes the basics: a 14- 
inch color monitor, a 200MB 
hard disk, and a single 3Vt- 
inch floppy drive. The com- 
pact case is great for busy 
desktops, and with just 
three cables to connect — 
power, keyboard, and 
mouse — setup couldn't get 
much easier. The system 
board resides in a rear-open- 
ing drawer underneath the in- 
tegral monitor, allowing easy 
access for maintenance 
and upgrades. However, 
the hardware mounted on 
that board pushes the lower 
limits of acceptability. The 
4MB of RAM included 
meets the standard for entry- 

magine arriving at the lake as the morning 
mist starts to burn off the quiet waters. You 
stop at the bait shop to select your rod, reel 
and lures, thinking you'll try for some walleye 
this morning. You load the boat and consult 
your map. It s the end of August and its getting 
colder, the walleye will be feeding in shallower 
waters to prepare for winter. You remember a 
spot your fishing buddy told you about and set 
out. You arrive at the location, check your 
sonar and position yourself near the edge of 
that underwater shoal. The peaceful solitude is 
broken only by the waves lapping at the boat 
and the loons haunting call echoing across the 
lake. After a few casts, you feel a snarp tug 
and your rod bends suddenly towards the 
water, this must, be the big one! With a quick 
jerk you manage to pull him towards the boat 
but he gets another burst of energy and % 
speeds towards the deeper water, it's a go> 
thing you had the drag set correctly on 
After a strenuous and exhaustirw 
pull your quarry to the side a - J 
the boat. What a beauty! You 
back and see your 
the fishing lodge 
look at with en 

I A d 

■ llUi I 

m buzzes, "Mr. Jones, 
_r 2:00 appointment is here." 

Introducing a new series of products 
from Anrtex Software Corporation, the 
same company who brought REAL pinball 
to the com pater! 

Now get ready to REEL the big one in 
with gone fishin' in an accurate 
simulation of the Bay of Quinte, 
a Northern Canadian fishing mecca. 

For product information* 

send your name and address to: 

AM TEX Software Corporation 

P.O. Box 572, Belfeville, Ontario 

Canada K8N SB2 or call 

(613) 967 7900 Fax (613) 967-7902 


Dioital Fresh Water Fishinq 

Circle Reader Service Number 262 


level Windows boxes, but 
the 25-MHz 486SX proces- 
sor is a step behind faster 
competitors; a 33-MHz CPU 
would have added some 
much-needed muscle at a 
minimal extra cost. The Cir- 
rus Logic video chip accel- 
erates Windows graphics 
nicely, but with only 512K of 
display memory, there's no 
support for full-color display 
modes beyond 256 colors. 

Preinstalled software also 
helps Compaq Presario buy- 
ers get up to speed quickly. 
In addition to DOS 6 and 
Windows 3.1, there's PFS:- 
WindowWorks, a basic pro- 
ductivity package that incor- 
porates word-processing, 
database, spreadsheet, and 
telecommunications func- 
tions. Other selections in- 
clude Quicken personal ac- 
counting software, sign-up 
kits and modem software for 
Prodigy and America On- 
line, and Max Fax software 
for the Presario's built-in 
fax/data modem. 

The internal modem sup- 
ports data, fax, and voice 
communications, but with on- 
ly a 2400-bps data rate, it's 
a mixed blessing. At this 
point, most online systems 
worth calling support at 
least 9600-bps connections, 
and with so many services 
charging by the hour, a fast- 
er modem can pay back the 
small price difference in just 
a few months. 

With the modem's voice 
support, the Presario can al- 
so act as a telephone an- 
swering machine. At first 
glance, one might question 
that feature's value — how 
many computer buyers 
don't already have an an- 
swering machine? But if you 
leave a modem online to re- 
ceive faxes, it'll grab every in- 
coming call on the line, so a 
separate answering ma- 
chine is useless. Max Fax 
can distinguish between in- 


For basic productivity tasks, the Compaq Presario 425 is a staid and 
solid performer that's commendabiy easy to get up and running. 

Kronolog: The Nazi Paradox allows you to experience the terrible 
consequences of Nazi Germany's winning World War II. 

coming voice and fax calls, 
routing each to the appropri- 
ate software module, and 
that's a very useful feature. 
It also recognizes caller ID 
codes and allows multiple 
voice mail boxes with pri- 
vate access numbers, fea- 
tures not found on most an- 
swering machines. 

The Presario can play au- 
dio recordings through an in- 
ternal speaker via the mo- 
dem, and it can record 
voice memos using a tele- 
phone handset as a micro- 
phone, but there's no Win- 
dows sound driver for this 
interface. It's just about im- 

possible to use these audio 
functions to annotate busi- 
ness documents or to add 
some punch to education 
and entertainment software. 
That's a surprising omission 
from a company as thor- 
ough as Compaq. 

With no multimedia fea- 
tures and no room inside 
the case for an internal CD- 
ROM drive, a tape backup 
unit, or a second floppy 
drive, the Presario doesn't of- 
fer the versatility that home 
computer buyers should be 
looking for. A lot of new 
games and entertainment ti- 
tles also demand more proc- 

essing power than the 25- 
MHz CPU has to offer. But 
the Presario 425 is a staid 
and solid performer for ba- 
sic productivity tasks, and 
it's commendabiy simple to 
get up and running, making 
for a fine low-cost, low-has- 
sle office system. 

(Editor's note: At press- 
time, Compaq announced 
the Presario 433. This sys- 
tem sports a 33-MHz CPU 
and is otherwise identical to 
the Presario 425.) 





Circle Reader Service Number 438 


Imagine for a brief, frighten- 
ing moment what the world 
would be like had Nazi Ger- 
many won World War II. 
Kronolog: The Nazi Paradox 
does more than just specu- 
late on this horrific twist on 
world history — it allows you 
to experience the terrible 
consequences of it as if it 
had really happened. Al- 
though the basic premise is 
far from original — read Philip 
K. Dick's The Man in the 
High Castle or, more recent- 
ly, Fatherland by Robert Har- 
ris — this interactive graphic 
adventure provides a few 
compelling new twists on 
this popular genre of specu- 
lative fiction. 

Set in the year 2020, the 
game paints a bleak image 
of life in an America ruled 
by descendants of the Nazi 
regime. As the story goes, 
near the end of World War 
II, Nazi spies stole the U.S. 
plans for the Manhattan Pro- 
ject, allowing Germany to de- 
velop the first atomic bomb, 
which it dropped on Boston, 
thus forcing full Allied surren- 
der. Through the years, 



500 miles from nowhere, 
"rtll give you a cold drink 
or a warm burger. . . 

NASA spaceflights inspired this portable fridge that 
outperforms conventional fridges, replaces the ice chest 
and alternates as a food warmer. 

By Charles Anton 

ecognize the ice cooler in this picture? 
Surprisingly enough, there isn't one. 
, What you see instead is a Koolatron, 
an invention that replaces the traditional ice 
cooler, and its many limitations, with a tech- 
nology even more sophisticated than your 
home fridge. And far better suited to travel. 

What's more, the innocent looking box be- 
fore you is not only a refrigerator, it's also a 
food warmer. 

NASA inspired por- 
table refrigerator. 

Because of space trav- 
el's tough demands, 
scientists had to find 
something more de- 
pendable and less 
bulky than traditional 
refrigeration coils and 
compressors. Their re- 
search led them to dis- 
cover a miraculous 
solid state component 
called the thermo-elec- 
tric module. 

Aside from a small 
fan, this electronic 
fridge has no moving 
parts to wear out or 
break down. It's not 
affected by tilting, jar- 
ring or vibration (situ- 
ations that cause home 
fridges to fail). The 
governing module, no 
bigger than a match- 
book, actually delivers 
the cooling power of a 
10 pound block of ice. 

From satellites to station wagons. 

Thermo-electric temperature control has now 
been proven with more than 25 years of use in 
some of the most rigorous space and labora- 
tory applications. And Koolatron is the first 
manufacturer to make this technology avail- 
able to families, fishermen, boaters, campers 
and hunters- in fact anyone on the move. 

Home refrigeration has come a long way 
since the days of the ice box and the block of 
ice. But when we travel, we go back to the 
sloppy ice cooler with its soggy and sometimes 

The refrigerator from outer space. 

The secret of the Koolatron Cooler/Warmer 
is a miniatore thenno-electric module that 
effectively replaces bulky piping coils, loud 
motors and compressors used in conven- 
tional refrigeration units. In the cool 
mode, the Koolatron reduces the outside 
temperature by 40 degrees F. At the 
switch of a plug, it becomes a food warmer, 
going up to 125 degrees. 

hiiii. n I 

spoiled food. No more! Now 
for the price of a good cool- 
er and one or two seasons 
of buying ice, (or about five 
family restaurant meals), all the 
advantages of home cooling are available for 
you electronically and conveniently. 
Think about your last trip. You just got 
away nicely on your long-awaited vacation. 
You're cruising com- 
fortably in your car 
along a busy interstate 
with only a few rest 
stops or restaurants. 
You guessed it... the 
kids want to stop for a 
snack. But your Kool- 
atron is stocked with 
fruit, sandwiches, cold 
drinks, fried chicken. . . 
fresh and cold. Every- 
body helps themselves 
and you have saved 
valuable vacation time 
and another expensive 
restaurant bill. 

Hot or cold. With the 
switch of a plug, the 
Koolatron becomes a 
food warmer for a 
casserole, burger or 
baby's bottle. It can go 
up to 125 degrees. 

And because there 
are no temperamental 
compressors or gasses, 
the Koolatron works 
perfectly under all 
circumstances, even 
upside down. Empty, the large model weighs 
only 12 pounds and the smaller one weighs 
just seven. Full, the large model holds up to 
40 12-oz. cans and the smaller one holds six. 

Just load it up and plug it in. On motor 
trips, plug your Koolatron into your cigarette 
lighter; it will use less power than a tail light. 
If you decide to carry it to a picnic place or a 
fishing hole, the Koolatron will hold its cool- 
ing capacity for 24 hours. If you leave it 
plugged into your battery with the engine off, 
it consumes only three amps of power. 


1 Tipm 


Limited time 
offer. Because Comtrad is bringing this offer 
to you directly, you save the cost of middle- 
men and retail mark-ups. For a limited time 
only, you can get this advanced, portable 
Koolatron refrigera- 
tor at the introduc- 
tory price of $99. 
Call today to take r - 

advantage of this 1 

special promotional __ / 

pricing. Most orders 4$3$§&& 
are processed with- <* ^^m0\^A 
in 72 hours. ^* ^H 

Try it risk free. 

We guarantee your 

satisfaction with ^*y 

any product from 

Comtrad Industries. The versatile Koolatron is avail- 

With the Koolatron able in two sizes. The P24A holds 

VOU eet our COm- ^0 quarts and the smaller P9 holds 

plete "No Questions ™*» *"** An °f omi AC 

A<;WpH" ™ H*v «M«or lets xjou use them m your 
/\SKtU ov Udy rec room, patio or motel room. 
money-back guar- Theyplug intoamj regular outlet. 

antee. Plus you get 

a full one year manufacturer's limited warran- 
ty. If you are not satisfied for any reason, just 
return the product for a complete refund. 

Koolatron (P24A) holds 30 quarts $99 $12 S&H 

Koolatron (P9) holds 7 quarts $79 $8 S&H 

Optional AC Adapter (AC 10) $39 $6 S&H 

Please mention promotional code022-CU1119. 
For fastest service call toii-free 24 hours a day 


sSS k$$ 52 '^^ 

To order by mail send check or money order for the 
total amount including S&H (VA residents add 4.5% 
sales tax). Or charge it to your credit card by en- 
closing your account number and expiration date. 


2820 Waterford Lake Drive Suite 106 
Midlothian, Virginia 23113 


America became known as 
the North American Demo- 
cratic Alliance. Beyond the 
human atrocities inflicted by 
this new world order, years 
of environmental neglect 
have resulted in a civiliza- 
tion on the brink of ecocide. 

You play Mark Hoffman, 
famed biochemist, who's 
working full-time for the Na- 
zis developing waste-eating 
bugs. Secretly, however, 
you're part of the Un- 
knowns, a covert network of 
political dissidents strug- 
gling to overthrow this dicta- 
torship. As the game be- 
gins, the government plans 
a bloody celebration of 75 
years of world domination, 
while the clock ticks down 
to ecological disaster. To 
make matters worse, you've 
just learned that your son, a 
leader of the Unknowns, 
has been targeted for execu- 
tion by Nazi leaders. It's up 
to you to stop the madness 
before it's too late. This sin- 
ister web becomes even 
more entangled with the in- 
troduction of another plot 
thread: time travel. 

But just as the intriguing 
script draws us into the sto- 
ry, the game's outdated 
graphics and clumsy user in- 
terface push us back. While 
most new adventures step 
boldly into photorealistic 
worlds of digitized multime- 
dia, this game remains firm- 
ly entrenched in the past 
with stiff cartoon characters 
and flat backdrops. Al- 
though the game feigns a 3- 
D environment by allowing 
characters to walk from fore- 
ground to background, the 
effect is hindered by awk- 
ward movement around ob- 
jects. Likewise, the user inter- 
face is remarkably unintui- 
tive, requiring a whirlwind of 
relentless mouse clicking to 
move, talk, touch, look, or 
manipulate onscreen ob- 
jects. This is a game that 


Eile Safety info lest Benchmark fnstaH H elp 

Svrmn | 





800(H) 1 600 (7) 

Coptoct*»rHo1 Ivtilkd 


E » CD-ROW fo* 

WinSleuth Gold Plus, a Windows diagnostic and analysis program, 
lets you "pop the hood" to see what's going on inside the PC. 

cries out for CD-ROM treat- 
ment, if only to retrieve the 
19MB required for hard 
drive installation. On the 
bright side, the game fea- 
tures voices for characters 
and some pseudo full-mo- 
tion video clips during char- 
acter conversations. 

Too bad about this alter- 
nate-future stuff— imagine 
how different this game 
could have been in the age 
of multimedia. In an ironic 
twist on its own premise, 
Kronolog: The Nazi Paradox 
is, despite its intriguing sto- 
ry line, a game that's out of 
step with the times. 


Merit Software 

(800) 238-4277 


Circle Reader Service Number 439 


Computers are like cars. 
Some people just want to 
use them; they don't care 
how they work. Others want 
to pop the hood and look in- 
side, even if they might not 

really understand everything 
that's going on in there. 
WinSleuth Gold Plus, a Win- 
dows diagnostic and analy- 
sis program, is for the latter 

WinSleuth's main screen 
presents basic information 
and a toolbar with icons. 
The program has a file edi- 
tor and a Tune Up feature, 
which makes some sugges- 
tions for optimizing your AU- 
FIG.SYS files. You can also 
save your CMOS settings 
and other important system 
files to a bootable disk. 

The System icon access- 
es BIOS and CMOS details, 
along with all 256 hardware 
and software interrupt vec- 
tors (listed and described) 
and network information (if 
connected). It also provides 
tests for your CPU (includ- 
ing a benchmark test), key- 
board, mouse, and internal 

The Environ icon pro- 
vides DOS and Windows in- 
fo (version, files, buffers, Win- 
dows files added, control 
blocks, and LASTDRIVE set- 
tings) and disk cache ver- 
sion, size, and effective- 

ness. There's a wealth of 
Windows information here — 
the program lists all active 
Windows tasks and mod- 
ules, displays all terminate- 
and-stay-resident programs 
and drivers, shows current 
windows and window class 
info, and describes all cur- 
rently open files. 

If you want to look into 
how Windows uses memory, 
WinSleuth can help. It dis- 
plays graphs of memory us- 
age for conventional (includ- 
ing upper) and global mem- 
ory (extended, expanded, vir- 
tual), and the GDI and User 
Heaps. For the hard-core 
Windows investigator, the 
program displays the Win- 
dows Descriptor Tables (an 
index to physical memory) 
and all memory objects. It al- 
so runs memory bench- 
marks and a memory test 

The Disk section lists ba- 
sic info, BIOS definitions for 
hard drives, and partitions. 
It performs a percentage us- 
age analysis, benchmark 
tests, and disk integrity 
checks as well, (However, 
the program found nothing 
but errors on the noncom- 
pressed portion of a drive 
that was working fine, and it 
provided no explanation.) 

Looking into video is 
easy, WinSleuth describes 
in great detail which basic, 
raster, curve, line, poly- 
gonal, and text routines 
your video supports. System 
Metrics lists a plethora of par- 
ameters regarding windows, 
frames, cursors, scroll bars, 
and so on. Hardware Info 
lists more details, and there 
are extensive benchmarks 
and tests. 

You can check your 
ports, printer capabilities 
(similar to the information on 
the video system), multime- 
dia extensions, and — with op- 
tional hardware loop-back 
plugs — serial and parallel 

c^ree Spirit 


1 -800-638-5757 

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Great Poetry Classics 
Interac*© Storyttne VI 
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Comp Works of Shakespeare 
Sherlock Holmes - Comp works 



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MDI Master Collection: 5 vols of 
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Jim Rovencher's Business Cllpart: 1 000s of original color EPS. TIFF. 
PCX business cartoons from one of Bostons top cartoonists! 
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Chestnut New Media $9 

Ency of Sound 1 : Starter collec. 1 00s of saund effects 

Ency of Sound 2: 1 00s of multimedia presentation saunas 

Complete Home & Office Legal Guide: legal farms , Irrs , laws 

Hugo's House of Horrors: M 3 adventures 

MvFs Game Jamboreel 1 exciting games 

Vubrid Traveler Vol 1 : Multimedia slide show 

HIV/AIDS Resource Guide: Laws, rights, responsibilities. 

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Gardening: A Handbook for the Home Gardener 
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Deathstar Acade Battles: Action packed games 
Dictionaries & Language: Giant dictionary & thesaurus 
HAM Radio: for HAMs and SWLers 
Our Solar System: NASA photos, planetarium progs 
Sound Sensations: Sound effects , music, utils , 
rechnoToote: A programmer's dream disc 
Too Many Typefontsl Over 1 000 ATM/TrueType fonts 
Wndoware: Lots of DTP games, utils 
Multimedia Mania: Tools, clips, utils 

Shareware O/erload Trio $ 1 9 

1 .8 gigs, all compressed, 3 CDs. Updated 7/94 

Chestnut Video CD-ROMs $9 

AM format, includes Microsoft Video for Wndows. 

Porky Rg CaricaturasClasicas (Spanish) 

Betty Boop Godzillo vs. Megaton r utc tni it 

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Classic Cartoons Night of the Living Dead 

The Three Stooges Hilarious Sports Bloopers 

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Maosoft Golf 


Guy Spy 


The Heard 

House of Gomes 

The Humans 

Indona Jones Farefliantts 


Jones h Fast Lone 

Jouneymcn Project 

Karaoke Party Pak 


tabyinih of Time 

LBow2: Dogger Mwn Ba 


Legend of Kyranda 

Lord of the Rfrrgj 


Monlac Mansion: DayTntcte 


Pacrtc Strte & Speech Ft* 


QuanrtLrm Gate 
Race the Oock 

Return of the Phontom 
Sc+fl Fantasy 
Scrabble Defuse 
Seventh Guest 

9000 Sounds 


NM Beethoven 

Composer Quest 

Dr Music Lab 

L> of Sound 

Grammy Awards 

Hot Sound &\*lon 

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MDt rAjstc Shop 

MS Ivtalcal Instrument 


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M/murs of Earth 

National Parte 

New Zealand BWs 

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Otod &igftsh Ref Ub 


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ftesatot. Drugs 

Sports flusiated 1994 Mmancc 

Street /Was USA 

Time Desert Storm 

Tony LaRussa Basebal 2 

ToWBosebcf 1993 

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USA Slate Factbook 


USA Wars: Korea 

USA Wars: VWC 

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Front Row Baseboi Cards 

Great Naval Batttes 



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Fantasia Concepts retains 
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ie Spirit Software, Inc. - 1 -800-638-5757 - P0 Box 1 58 - 1 09 Pleasant Street - Trafalgar, IN 46181 

Circle Reader Service Number 115 


ports. (For some reason, 
WinSleuth incorrectly identi- 
fied both of my serial ports 
as having 16550 chips; only 
one port actually does.) 

Installation Assistant is 
handy when you're installing 
new expansion boards. It 
lets you look for free I/O 
port addresses, DMA chan- 
nels, and IRQs specifically 
or by range. You can load 
and save test parameters, in- 
cluding some standard con- 

The WinSleuth manual is 
helpful, providing some back- 
ground explanations and 
even some useful sugges- 
tions; but the Help files are 
weak, lacking depth and hav- 
ing a rough, unfinished ap- 

WinSleuth could be im- 
proved with thorough, con- 
text-sensitive help, and with 
advice on what upgrades 
might make the most cost- 
effective improvements to a 
particular system. Still, the pro- 
gram makes it easy to thor- 
oughly access a wealth of in- 
formation about your PC's 
hardware and software. 


Dariana Software 

(800) 892-9950 


Circle Reader Service Number 440 


If you're among the faint- 
hearted, Home Medical Ad- 
visor Pro from Pixel Perfect 
isn't for you. On second 
thought, maybe it is. Let's 
just say HMA Pro isn't very 
pleasant to look at. In some 
ways, however, it's very 
easy to look at. 

Confused? Don't be. Actu- 
ally, HMA Pro is an excellent 
CD-ROM reference tool for 
looking up medical con- 
cerns large and small. The 
only things hard to look at 


Home Medical Advisor Pro's graphics aren't for the fainthearted, but 
finding medical information couldn 't be simpler or more intuitive. 

are the graphic medical im- 
ages—the picture of a guy 
with a knife in his back, for in- 
stance, or the video footage 
of joint replacement surgery. 
So if you are fainthearted, 
just keep the graphics 
turned off. And while you 
may not want to use the 
very graphic medical graph- 
ics for your screen saver, 
they can be invaluable for il- 
lustrating any number of ail- 
ments and maladies. 

The program is easy to 
look at in the sense that find- 
ing information couldn't be 
simpler or more intuitive. 
Let's say you have an inex- 
plicable rash on your skin — 
1 of the more than 1000 
symptoms covered by HMA 
Pro. If so, there are a num- 
ber of easy routes to a 
quick diagnosis. Since HMA 
Pro employs a fairly stand- 
ard Windows interface, it's 
easy to take action using a 
mouse and only slightly 
more difficult to employ the 

To begin with, from HMA 
Pro's main screen you can 
use the mouse to move the 
cursor to the body part giv- 
ing you trouble. You select a 
male or female image and 
see the full body from the 

front and rear and a 
closeup view of the head, al- 
lowing you to choose any 
part of the body. Once you 
select a part, HMA Pro 
gives you a choice of symp- 
toms to explore further. After 
clicking on a symptom, you 
can get more information 
from 1 of more than 20,000 
hypertext links, or you can 
take a question-and-answer 
test for a diagnosis of your 
particular problem. 

There are other ways to 
go about getting more infor- 
mation, too. Just pressing a 
button will take you to files 
for diseases, injuries, poi- 
sons, health and diet, and 
prescription medicine. You 
can do text searches, scan 
photograph and video librar- 
ies, consult a medical glos- 
sary to look up unfamiliar 
words, and check your own 
medical history with a new 
HMA Pro feature: Your Med- 
ical Records. It allows you 
to enter your own medical 
history from a series of men- 
us, and its Interact feature al- 
lows you to check the ef- 
fects of mixing prescription 
drugs with each other or 
with other substances, such 
as alcohol or vitamins. 

I can't personally attest to 

the accuracy of HMA Pro, 
but according to Pixel Per- 
fect, a large number of doc- 
tors in many different fields 
make up the board of re- 
view for the program. The in- 
formation is presented in 
straightforward layman's 
terms, with a medical glossa- 
ry always handy for terms 
that are unfamiliar. 

Photographs and videos 
appear in 256-color Super 
VGA. And everything load- 
ed quickly and ran smooth- 
ly when I used the program 
on a 486-66 machine with 
16MB of RAM and a double- 
speed CD-ROM drive. Even 
though it's CD-ROM based, 
the program takes up about 
5MB on your hard drive. 

While some of the video 
images are unquestionably 
gratuitous (how helpful or uni- 
versal, for instance, is a vid- 
eo of two people cruising by 
using underwater scooters 
with a message about their 
safe use?), most of the fea- 
tures of HMA Pro serve a 
clear and useful purpose. 
And HMA Pro improves on 
its floppy-based predeces- 
sor not only by adding full- 
color photographs and vide- 
os but also by allowing you 
complete control over what 
you see. You can choose 
from several color combina- 
tions for the text and set the 
graphics to come on auto- 
matically, only after the pro- 
gram prompts you for them, 
or not at all. So even if you 
are fainthearted, don't shy 
away from Home Medical Ad- 
visor Pro. Whether you're 
just checking the interaction 
of two prescriptions or look- 
ing into a major disease, it's 
a quick and simple way to 
get helpful information. 


Pixel Perfect 
(800) 788-2099 

Circle Reader Service Number 441 


One of the frustrations of us- 
ing Windows is that some 
simple tasks take many 
clicks. You can either get 
used to it or get Praxim, a ter- 
rific, inexpensive Program 
Manager add-on or replace- 
ment that combines the 
ease of use of the Windows 
GUI with the speed and flex- 
ibility of the DOS command 

Praxim offers two primary 
interfaces, a set of toolbox- 
es and a command line. 
The command line lets you 
enter, edit, and review DOS, 
Windows, and Praxim com- 
mands. It adds a number of 
custom commands, includ- 
ing Tree, Browse, Prune, 
Touch, FF (Find File), 
Search, Head, Tail, LC 
(Line Count), Eval (math), 
Hist (command history), and 
Alias. Praxim puts the re- 
sults of each command into 
a separate scrollable win- 
dow. If you prefer, it can 
send all output to one scrol- 
lable window, to the Clip- 
board (great idea), or to a 
message box. Items in the 
scrollable output window 
are linked to the operating 
system. After performing a 
Dir command, for example, 
you can click on filenames 
in the scrollable output win- 
dow to delete files, run pro- 
grams, and so on. 

Click the right mouse but- 
ton, and you'll see a toolbox 
that varies according to the 
most likely operation for the 
currently highlighted item. 
There are separate autose- 
lected toolboxes for files, di- 
rectories, drives, com- 
mands, disk images (byte- 
for-byte copies of floppies), 
and numbers. 

The command line runs 
DOS and Windows pro- 
grams from the filename 
(such as PBRUSH.EXE), the 
application name (Paint- 

Praxim, a terrific Program Manager add-on, combines the ease of 
use of Windows with the speed and flexibility of DOS. 

pie Qpllsns Sfclll fllnta gcare Soupd E>uscfttidc 





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Take a Break! Crosswords Deluxe, an addictive puzzler, is an ideal 
way to jump-start your brain on particularly slow mornings. 

brush), or a unique part of 
the name (such as PBR). 
Praxim will find the program 
and run it, or give you a 
pick list if you fail to enter a 
unique string. Praxim also 
supports enhanced batch 

On installation, Praxim cre- 
ates a toolbox called Favor- 
ite Tools (generally, the big- 
gest programs it finds). The 
toolbox is compact; each 
tool has a button that's easy 
to move and copy. Toolbox- 
es can even be nested, with 

toolboxes inside other tool- 
boxes (something that's im- 
possible with Windows Pro- 
gram Manager groups). 
There's even a trash can in- 
to which you can drag files, 
for those with Mac envy. 

Praxim keeps track of 
your Program Manager 
groups and creates a tool- 
box for each one. In addi- 
tion, Praxim has a Browser 
that serves as its File Manag- 
er. Praxim features internal 
multitasking, so you can, for 
instance, start an applica- 

tion while copying files or for- 
matting a disk. 

Praxim is a great program 
and an exceptional bargain. 
Having equally easy access 
with the keyboard or the 
mouse makes Windows sim- 
pler and quicker to use, and 
who wouldn't want that? 


Developed by the Sundial Group 

Produced by Wesson International 

(800) 634-9808 


Circle Reader Service Number 442 




Sierra deals another blow to 
Windows productivity with 
the release of Take a Break! 
Crosswords Deluxe, an ad- 
dictive puzzler guaranteed 
to keep you glued to the 
screen long after break time 
has ended. A more appropri- 
ate title, at least in an office 
environment, might be Get 
Back to Work! Crosswords, 
This deluxe edition con- 
tains a total of 750 Dell mag- 
azine puzzles, divided into 
three difficulty levels (easy, 
medium, and hard) and four 
size groups (13 x 13, 15 x 
15, 17 x 17, and 19 x 19 let- 
ters). In addition, three skill 
levels (Apprentice, Puzzler, 
and Fanatic) let you toggle 
player handicaps such as 
partial or whole-word hints, 
as well as automatic word 
checking. The program 
tracks total puzzle-solving 
time, awarding or subtract- 
ing points for correct an- 
swers, wrong guesses, 
hints taken, and time bonus- 
es or penalties. Although on- 
ly one puzzle can be active 
at a time, the game lets you 
save and resume work on 
as many different puzzles 
as you like. You can even 
print out blank or partially 



completed puzzles to take 
with you on your commute 

Special features include 
fast two-button mouse con- 
trols for selecting word direc- 
tion (down or across), option- 
al 256-color backgrounds 
and animation, and automat- 
ic letter advance to speed 
keyboard entry. One caveat: 
The game is something of a 
resource hog and will slow 
down your system consider- 
ably when multitasked with 
other Windows applications. 
Although designed for 
breaks in the workday, Cross- 
words Deluxe is an ideal 
way to jump-start your brain 
on those particularly slow 
mornings. It's more natural 
than caffeine, but no less 


Sierra On-Line 

(800) 757-7707 


Circle Reader Service Number 443 

SUBWAR 2050 

They say the sky's the limit, 
but when it comes to com- 
bat simulations, it's getting 
mighty crowded up there. 
For a refreshing change of 
pace, dive into SubWar 
2050, a superb blend of the 
speculative simulation and ar- 
cade action genres. Set in 
the year 2050, the story line 
speculates — and rightly so — 
that the earth's oceans will 
be recognized as our great- 
est natural resource. Technol- 
ogy once used to reach for 
the stars now casts its gaze 
to the oceans, mining their 
rich bounty of food, energy, 
and minerals. As expected, 
where there's money to be 
made, you'll find greed and 
covert competition. That's 
where you come in: As a mer- 
cenary sub pilot, you're em- 
ployed by huge corpora- 
tions to defend their underwa- 


Object scaling, lighting effects, and surround sound make SubWar 
2050's sense of depth and inner space utterly believable. 

ter interests against military- 
industrial sabotage. Unlike 
land and air, the deep-sea 
arena opens a whole new 
world of fantastic, danger- 
ous stealth activity. 

The game is divided into 
four multimission campaigns 
of increasing difficulty, 
based in the Antarctic, North 
Atlantic, South China Sea, 
and Sea of Japan. Thou- 
sands of square miles of 3-D- 
rendered seascapes unfold 
beneath the murky depths — 
breathtaking vistas of jagged 
mountains, narrow canyons, 
and sloping valleys. A run- 
ning story line links individual 
missions in each campaign 
scenario, with various med- 
als, awards, and promotions 
available to top combat pi- 
lots. There's also a valuable 
training campaign, set in the 
relative calm of the North Pa- 
cific, where you'll learn the fin- 
er points of navigation, active 
and passive sonar reading, 
evasive maneuvers, and 
weapons deployment. 

Depending on your mis- 
sion, you'll pilot a vessel spe- 
cially designed for either ex- 
ploration, reconnaissance, 
or combat. Cockpit controls 
are virtually identical to their 
flight sim counterparts, in- 
cluding familiar HUD indica- 
tors for horizon line, bearing, 

speed, depth, sonar range, 
weapons targeting, and way 
points. There are also full- 
screen displays for damage 
control, wingman orders, 
and 3-D object viewing. Mul- 
tiple cockpit and outside 
views include flyby, chase, 
tactical, inverse tactical, and 
weapons perspective. Unfor- 
tunately, there's no mission 
recorder. Available ord- 
nance—depending on mis- 
sion and sub type — in- 
cludes torpedoes, antitorpe- 
do torpedoes, cluster rocket 
torpedoes, cruise missiles, 
surface-to-air missiles, and 
particle-beam rockets. More 
than 15 types of friendly and 
enemy vessels include trans- 
ports, tankers, missile subs, 
sub carriers, deep-sea re- 
con units, and light fighters. 
Watch closely, and you'll see 
a variety of sea creatures. 

You can choose enemy 
skill level (high, medium, or 
low), control mode (joystick, 
mouse, or keyboard), colli- 
sion damage (on or off), and 
terrain/object shading (tex- 
tured, plain, or wireframe), 
The game runs well even on 
a 386, so you'll want to 
keep the graphics detail on 
high to enjoy the excellent 
3-D terrain contours and 
Gouraud-shaded objects. 
The game's cornerstone fea- 

ture is its incredible ambi- 
ance, without doubt among 
the most compelling ever 
put to disk. The sensation of 
depth and the ocean's tre- 
mendous inner space is utter- 
ly believable, accomplished 
through object scaling, light- 
ing effects, and stereo sur- 
round sound. Few sights are 
more breathtaking — or down- 
right creepy — than your 
sub's spotlights probing the 
blackness of the ocean floor, 
or the shadow of a mon- 
strous vehicle on the edge of 
darkness. Another key to 
both graphics and game- 
play is the onscreen repre- 
sentation of the ocean's ther- 
mal layers (boundaries be- 
tween warm and cold water) 
seen as a series of con- 
toured grid lines. These ther- 
mals add to the illusion of 
depth and serve as a natu- 
ral sonar cloaking defense. 
Overall, the missions offer 
es, while the underwater bat- 
tles rival the intensity of clas- 
sic arcade-style space- and 
air-combat games like Wing 
Commander and Coman- 
che. Hard-core sim fans will 
be intrigued but ultimately 
disappointed. All others will 
find SubWar 2050 to be an 
imaginative strategy and ac- 
tion game absolutely drip- 
ping with atmosphere. 



(800) 879-7529 


Circle Reader Service Number 444 


The trouble with some chil- 
dren's software is that it's writ- 
ten by adults, and kids sim- 
ply don't think like adults. 
Adults are conditioned to 
solve problems with rigid so- 
lutions, but children enjoy a 
much more pliable logic, 
where anything is possible. 



900 MHz breakthrough! 

New technology launches 
wireless speaker revolution. . . 

Recoton develops breakthrough technology which transmits 
stereo sound through walls, ceilings and floors up to 150 feet 


By Charles Anton 

If you had to name just 
one new product "the 
most innovative of the 
year/' what would you 
choose? Well, at the recent International 
Consumer Electronics Shoiv, critics gave Recoton's 
new wireless stereo speaker system the Design 
and Engineering Award 
for being the "most in- 
novative and outstand- 
ing new product." 

Recoton was able to 
introduce this whole 
new generation of 
powerful wireless 
speakers due to the ad- 
vent of 900 MHz tech- 
nology. This newly 
approved breakthrough 
enables Recoton' s wire- 
less speakers to rival the 
sound of expensive 
wired speakers. 

Recently approved 
technology. In June 
of 1989, the Federal 
Communications Com- 
mission allocated a 
band of radio frequen- 
cies stretching from 902 
to 928 MHz for wireless, 
in-home product ap- 
plications. Recoton, one 
of the world's leading wireless speaker man- 
ufacturers, took advantage of the FCC ruling 
by creating and introducing a new speaker 
system that utilizes the recently approved fre- 
quency band to transmit clearer, stronger 
stereo signals throughout your home. 

1 50 foot range through walls! 

Recoton gives you the freedom to lis- 
ten to music wherever you want. Your 
music is no longer limited to the room your 
stereo is in. With the wireless headphones 
you can listen to your TV, stereo or CD 
player while you move freely between 
rooms, exercise or do other activities. And 
unlike infrared headphones, you don't have 
to be in a line-of-sight with the transmit- 
ter, giving you a full 150 foot range. 

The headphones and speakers have 
their own built-in receiver, so no wires are 
needed between you and your stereo. One 
transmitter operates an unlimited number 
of speakers and headphones. 

\s_±j±t k 

Recoton's transmitter setids music through zvails 
to wireless speakers over a 75,000 square, foot area. 

Crisp sound throughout your 
home. Just imagine being able to 
listen to your stereo, TV, VCR or CD 
player in any room of your home with- 
out having to run miles of speaker wire. 
Plus, you'll never have to worry about range 
because the new 900 iMHz technology allows 
stereo signals to travel 
over distances of 150 feet 
or more through walls, 
ceilings and floors with- 
out losing sound quality. 

One transmitter, un- 
limited receivers. The 

powerful transmitter 
plugs into a headphone, 
audio-out or tape-out jack 
on your stereo or TV com- 
ponent, transmitting mu- 
sic wirelessly to your 
speakers or headphones. 
The speakers plug into an 
outlet. The one transmit- 
ter can broadcast to an un- 
limited number of stereo 
speakers and headphones. 
And since each speaker 
contains its own built in 
receiver/amplifier, there 
are no wires running from 
the stereo to the speakers. 
Full dynamic range. 
The speaker, mounted in 
a bookshelf-sized acoustically constructed cab- 
inet, provides a two-way bass reflex design 
for individual bass boost control. Full dynamic 
range is achieved by the use of a 2" tweeter 
and 4" woofer. Plus, automatic digital lock-in 



Tuned ports 

. 2 " tweeter 

4 " woofer 

Individual left, right 

& mono twitch and 

Individual bass \ f 

control (on hick) 

Size: 9"H x 6 ,l W x 5.5"L 

Signal-to-nohe ratio: 60 dB 

Channel Separation: 30 dB 

Tmrtftof &8SS reflex design 

10 watts/channel RMS amps 

Frequency Response: 


Don't take our word for it. Try it yourself. 
We're so sure you'll love the new award-winning 
Recoton wireless speaker system that we offer 
you the Dare to Compare Speaker Challenge. 

Compare Recoton's rich sound quality to that of 
any $200 wired speaker. If you're not completely 
convinced that these wireless speakers offer the 
same outstanding 
sound quality as wired 
speakers, simply return 
them within 90 days for 
a full "No Questions 
Asked" refund. 

Recoton's Design mid 
Engineering Award 

Breakthrough wireless speaker design 
blankets your home with music. 

tuning guarantees optimum reception and 
eliminates drift. The new technology provides 
static-free, interference-free sound in virtual- 
ly any environment. These speakers are also 
self-amplified; they can't be blown out no mat- 
ter what your stereo's wattage. 
Stereo or hi-fi, you decide. These speak- 
ers have the option of either stereo or hi-fi 
sound. You can use two speakers, one set on 
right channel and the other on left, for full 
stereo separation. Or, if you just want an ex- 
tra speaker in another room, set it on mono and 
listen to both channels 
on one speaker. Mono 
combines both left and 
right channels for hi-fi 
sound. This option lets 
you put a pair of speak- 
ers in the den and get 
full stereo separation or 
put one speaker in the These wjre!e5S stcrco 
kitchen and get com- headphones have a 
plete hi-fi sound. built-in receiver. 

Factory direct savings. Because of our com- 
mitment to quality and our factory direct pric- 
ing, we sell more wireless speakers than 
anyone! For this reason, you can get these 
speakers far below retail with our 90 day "Dare 
to Compare" money-back guarantee and full 
manufacturer's warranty. Through this lirnit- 
ed time offer, the Recoton transmitter is only 
S69. It will operate an unlimited number of 
wireless speakers priced at only $89 and wire- 
less headphones at $59 each. So take advan- 
tage of this special offer to fill your home with 
music. Your order will be processed in 72 hours. 

Recoton Transmitter $69 $4 s&H 

Wireless products compatible with the Recoton transmitter; 

Recoton Wireless Speaker $89 $6 s&h 

Recoton Wireless Headphones $59 $4 s&h 

Please mention promotional code161-CU1120. 
For fastest service call toll-free 24 hours a day 


m ggg ^g. jftsfa 

To order by mail send check or money order for the total 
amount including S&H (VA residents add 4.5% sales tax). 
Or charge it to your credit card by enclosing your account 
number and exp. date. Send to: 


2820 Waterford Lake Drive Suite 106 
Midlothian, Virginia 23113 


How to order them 
without embarrassment. 

How to use them 
without disappointment. 

If you've been reluctant to purchase 
sensual aides through the mail, we 
would like to offer you three things 
that might change your mind. 

1. We guarantee your privacy. 

Everything we ship is plainly and secure- 
ly wrapped, with no clue to its contents 
from the outside. All transactions are 
strictly confidential, and we never sell, 
rent or trade any customer's name. 

2. We guarantee your satisfaction. 

If a product is unsatisfactory simply 
return it for replacement or refund. 

3. We guarantee that the product you 
choose will keep giving you pleasure. 
Should it malfunction, simply return it to 
us for a replacement. 

What is the Xandria Collection? 

It is a very special collection of the finest 
and most effective sexual products from 
around the world. It is designed for both 
the timid and the bold or for anyone who 
has ever wished there could be something 
more to their sensual pleasures. 

Celebrate the possibilities for pleasure 
you each have within. Send for the Xan- 
dria Gold Edition Catalogue. Its price of 
$4.00 is applied, in Rill, to your first order. 

Write today. You have absolutely noth- 
ing to lose, and an entirely new world of 
enjoyment to gain. 




Xandm. 874 Dnbuquti Ave,, South San Fronds 
Void where prohibited by law. 


The Xandria Collection, Dept. CP0894 
P.O. Box 31039, San Francisco, CA 94131 

Please send me, by first class mail, the Xandria Gold 
Edition Catalogue. Enclosed is my check or money order 
for $4.00 which will be applied towards my first purchase. 
($4 U.S., S5 CAN., £3 U.K.) 

I am an adult over 21 years of age: 
Signature required 


Peter Pan, from EA Kids, adopts this nat- 
ural approach to interactive storytelling, 
offering youngsters remarkable free- 
dom to paint multiple paths through a 
colorful adventure. 

You assume the role of Peter Pan, 
the boy who wouldn't grow up, in this 

Paintbox Pals help kids rescue Wendy in 
this Peter Pan CD-ROM title from EA Kids. 

tale based on J. M. Barrie's fantasy clas- 
sic. As the story begins, Peter snatch- 
es a buried treasure map from the 
clutches of the notorious Captain 
Hook. Vowing revenge, Hook instructs 
his band of pirates to retrieve the map 
and kidnap Peter's best friend, 
Wendy. It's up to you to direct Peter on 
his quest to rescue Wendy, with the 
help of the Paintbox Pals, a collection 
of four animated drawing tools: Sally 
Sprayer, Jazz Painter, Winston 
Whoosh, and Nick Lead. When Peter 
gets stumped, you must paint a solu- 
tion using one of the Paintbox Pals. For 
example, Jazz can paint a pirate's 
sword into a harmless flower, Winston's 
super eraser can rub out almost any 
trouble, and Nick can connect dots to 
create a helpful object. Each pal offers 
several possible solutions to each pre- 
dicament, and a special instant replay 
feature, named Sandy Hourglass, lets 
you try them all. While enjoying a rich 
adventure with the Lost Boys, Tinker 
Bell, Tiger Lily, and other characters of 
Never Land, kids learn the value of 
teamwork as well as alternative prob- 
lem solving. 

The CD-ROM version of the game 
features full-voice narration and the op- 
tion to view the complete story as a full- 
length, noninteractive cartoon. Floppy 
disk users hear only limited speech, 
augmented with easy-to-read text bub- 
bles. The voices are exceptionally 
clear and well acted. Most surprising, 
however, is the sophisticated dialogue 
and graphic humor, rendered in a 
style that will remind adult players of Lu- 
casArts' Secret of Monkey Island. The 
CD-ROM version runs smoothly 
straight from the disc, saving about 
10MB of hard drive space compared 
to the floppy version. 

Designed for ages 6 to 10, Peter 
Pan is by far the most polished entry in 
EA Kids' growing lineup of imaginative 
children's software. Hopefully, this Pe- 
ter Pan adventure isn't the last we'll 
see of the delightful Paintbox Pals. 


Electronic Arts 

(800) 245-4525 


Circle Reader Service Number 445 


It's only a matter of time before most 
Windows users abandon the default 
desktop shell, Program Manager, in fa- 
vor of more powerful, versatile, and in- 
tuitive third-party products. OnTop 
from ThoughtWare is an alternative to 
Program Manager that will appeal to 
the basic needs of beginners; howev- 
er, it leaves much to be desired for 
more experienced Windows users. 

romnmm Orf— ■*■ 

OnTop, a Program Manager alternative, is 
best suited for Windows beginners. 

OnTop's minimalist design takes its 
cue from Hewlett-Packard's sensation- 
al Dashboard 2.0 for Windows. The pro- 
gram appears as a thin horizontal but- 
ton bar, placed at the top or bottom of 
the screen, leaving lots of room for win- 
dowed applications or wallpaper back- 
grounds. Features include an exit but- 
ton, a digital alarm clock, a resource 
monitor, a DOS shell, online help, and 
a file search button. Rather than a to- 
tal replacement for Program Manager, 
however, OnTop merely serves as a 
dedicated front end, offering a hard- 
wired selection of 12 basic Windows 
tools (Notepad, Terminal, Calculator, 
Control Panel, and so on). Indeed, be- 
yond the alarm clock and ten customi- 
zable application buttons, OnTop is a 
closed book. It's difficult to imagine 
any serious Windows user with a rep- 
ertoire of only ten favorite applications. 
To access more, you must enter Pro- 
gram Manager. For a program that 
touts itself as "the perfect replace- 
ment" shell, such limitations make ab- 
solutely no sense. 

Other problems include heavy re- 

Every Time You Play! 


Sega CD 

Jason R. Rich 
A complete guide to 
the Sega Genesis CD sys- 
tem. Includes step-by- 
step directions for play- 
ing 24 of the hottest 
new games. 


Conquering Super 
NES Games 

Jason R. Rich 
Winning tactics and 
ratings of the hottest 
games, including 
Street Fighter II and 



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Mortal Kombat. 


COMPUTE's Guide 
to Super NES 

Steven Schwartz, 

Hartley G. Lesser, and 

Kirk Lesser 

Hints, tips, strategies, 

and more for popular 

Super Nintendo games 

including Super Mario 

World, Final Fantasy II, 

Populous, SimCity, and 




Conquering Zelda 
Second Edition 

Donald R. McCrary 
Your step-by-step 
guide to the Legend of 
Zelda, The Adventure 
of Link, and The Leg- 
end of Zelda, A Link to 
the Past. Full of maps, 
hints, and strategies to 
defeat all the enemies. 

The Official 
Book of Leisure 
Suit Larry, Third 

Ralph Roberts and 
Al Lowe 
The only official 
guide to all five Lar- 
ry adventures. In- 
cludes solutions to 
all adventures, girl 
pictorial, Larry's life 
story, and more. 

/YES Send me the books I've checked below. 

COMPUTE'S Sega CD Sourcebook (293-1) $12.95 

COMPUTE'S Conqjering Super NES Games (292-3) $9.95 

COMPUTE'S Gi/de to Super NES Garnes (249-4) 512.95 

COMPUTE s Conquenrg Zelda Adventures, Second Edition (270-2) $12.95 . . 

The Offidal Book of Leisure Suit Larry, Third Edition (307-5) $18.95 

Cost of Books 

Tax (Residents of NC, NJ, and NY please add appropriate lax; 

Canadian orders add 7% Goods and Services Tax) 

Shipping and Hand'.ng ($2.00 Jo US address, $4.00 So Canada, $6 CO elsewhere) . . . 

Total Enclosed 

Check One: VISA MC MO Check 

Credit Card Accl # Exp. Date 




City Stale ZIP 

Mail this coupon with payment to: 

COMPUTE Books, 324 W. Wendover Ave., Greensboro, NC 27408. 

Ail orders must be paid in U.S. funds drawn on a U.S. bank. Orders will be shipped via UPS Ground 

Service. Oiler good while supplies last. 
Nrnre io is a registered Irade-iiark and S^per NES ard Zeida are trademarks of N ilenda of A-ner ca. Sega ard 

GerivS.s are trademarks ol SEGA. 


source usage, which is iron- 
ic, considering the pro- 
gram's exceptionally small 
size. In side-by-side compar- 
isons to HP's Dashboard (ful- 
ly loaded with four times as 
many application buttons), 
OnTop opens Windows with 
9 percent fewer available re- 
sources. And when they 
say, "OnTop," they aren't kid- 
ding: The button bar is a per- 
manent screen fixture, ob- 
scuring menus and other im- 
portant information within 
most full-screen applica- 
tions. It's even immune to 
screen savers. 

OnTop might be accepta- 
ble on systems with rigidly 
defined user input, such as 
in an office or small-busi- 
ness environment. For more 
adventuresome Windows us- 
ers (that is, just about 
everyone else), the program 
proves far too inflexible. 



(706) 865-9688 


Circle Reader Service Number 446 


If you like to track your med- 
ical expenses or if you'd 
feel more comfortable know- 
ing more about medications 
than what's listed on the la- 
bels, Parsons Technology 
has a collection of medical 
recordkeeping and refer- 
ence tools for you. Medical 
Matters for Windows pro- 
vides a family health journal, 
a medical dictionary, a drug 
reference, and a database 
of health and medical hot 

The journal can track 
your medical appointments, 
claims, deductibles, and per- 
sonal entries such as 
weight loss and children's 


On lop 

FoiH*1r n w r, 

Medical Matters for Windows offers a health journal, medical 
dictionary, drug reference, and hot-line database. 


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As you can guess from its subtitle, Metal & Lace: The Battle of the 
Robo Babes isn't meant to stimulate your brain. 

growth rates. You create a 
separate record for each fam- 
ily member and for each in- 
surance policy. Printouts are 
Preformatted for financial, 
insurance policy, and 
health history reports. 

While at first the journal 
seems to be the primary fo- 
cus of Medical Matters, the 
reference tools prove to be 
far more useful. The medical 
dictionary contains plain-Eng- 
lish definitions of more than 
7000 terms. The drug refer- 
ence tells you how to store 

and take your medications 
and what side effects you 
might experience. It lists pos- 
sible interactions and precau- 
tions to follow for more than 
4000 brand-name and gener- 
ic drugs. The program's da- 
tabase of hot lines provides 
contact information for nation- 
al and state agencies, organ- 
izations, and advocacy 
groups. Since these refer- 
ence tools are simply Win- 
dows Help files, you can ac- 
cess them independently of 
the software program itself. 

The program offers helpful 
information, which you can 
keep current with updates 
from Parsons Technology. If 
you need a quick-access 
medical reference or if you 
need to track medical histo- 
ries, Medical Matters for Win- 
dows is a smoothly running 
program that may be just 
what the doctor ordered. 


Parsons Technology 

(800) 223-6925 


Circle Reader Service Number 447 


Metal & Lace merits atten- 
tion as one of the first PC ti- 
tles to exploit the kick-'n'- 
punch fighting frenzy current- 
ly sweeping the coin-op and 
videogame arenas. What 
makes this game unique is 
its unusual graphics style, 
called Anime, which fans of 
Japanese comics will instant- 
ly recognize for its titillating 
caricatures of women: large 
doe eyes, sharp nose and 
chin, and other oddly propor- 
tioned features. As you can 
guess from the subtitle, this 
isn't the kind of game 
meant to stimulate your 
brain. It's aimed at an excit- 
able teenage audience, 
who'll be enticed by the NR- 
13 rating, which warns of vi- 
olence and sexually sugges- 
tive content. Some will find 
the NR-18 version even 
more alluring; it's available 
only through mail order, and 
it features above-the-waist 
cartoon nudity. 

The setting is MeCha Is- 
land, a tropical proving 
ground for illicit staged fight- 
ing. You've come here to 
test your mettle, one-on- 
one, against the best of the 
Robo Babes, fighting your 

protects a vehicle 
by disabling its 
electrical system. 

Whether you're at home or not, the A- 160 security monitor mil protect your premises. 

The ELEKT* series of motion-sensitive personal port- 
able alarms fits a variety of lifestyles andactknties. 


and BICYCLE PAAL* pro- 
vide added personal 
security wherever you 

You'll get a big return on the^ecurities. 

Consider these facts: Ninety-three percent of all homes are left 
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Quorum International. 

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do the same, call today. oeCUWlflf Lire 

Contact your Quorum tnaependent Distributor 

J.P. Enterprises, Independent Quorum Distributor 800-745-1264 x 103 






arr-rif tr-i 




Includes hundreds of hints and 
tips and more than 100 game 
snapshots, digitized images, 
and maps. 300 pages. 

Betrayal at Krondor 

Companions of Xanth 

Curse of Enchantia 

Darkside of Xeen 

Day of the Tentacle 

Dracula Unleashed 

Gabriel Knight 

Gateway II: Homeworld 

The Hand of Fate 

Iron Helix 

The journeyman Project 

The Labyrinth of Time 

Lands of Lore 

Lost in Time 

Return of the Phantom 

Return to Zork 

Shadows of Darkness 

Simon the Sorcerer 

To order your copy send $18.95 plus $2.50 for 
shipping and handling (U.S., $4 \o Canada and 
$6 other] ro COMPUTE Books, c/o CCC, 2500 
McClellan Ave. Pennsauken, NJ 08109. (Resi- 
dents of NC, NJ, and NY please add appropri- 
ate tax; Canadian orders add 7% goods and serv- 
ices Tax.) All orders must be paid in U.S. funds 
drawn on a U,S. bank. Orders will be shipped 
via UPS Ground Service. 
Offer good while supplies last. 


way through multiple stages of increas- 
ingly difficult opponents. Victories 
earn cash, which you can use to pur- 
chase better armor and power-ups (bat- 
teries, shields, and various neural boost- 
ers). In addition to not-so-subtle varia- 
tions of standard punches and kicks 
(sweeping, leaping, flying, stomping, 
and so on), each armor class features 
its own special moves, such as the 
Thunder Break, Hover Clash, and Roll- 
er Blade Butchery. Interestingly, tourna- 
ment fighting is the weakest aspect of 
the game; although well rendered in hi- 
res graphics and smooth animation, 
the action suffers from mind-numbing 

When you're not fighting, grease the 
palms of some shady characters at the 
local watering hole, where you can 
learn of upcoming matches, pick up 
some secrets, or borrow money from 
the musclebound loan shark. Here, you 
can also engage in some two-player 
practice bouts, which for many will be 
the highlight of the game. 

You can play with the keyboard or a 
standard joystick, but multi button 
sticks such as the Gravis PC Game- 
Pad and ThrustMaster FCS allow eas- 
ier access to the game's convoluted 
combination moves and provide better 

While sound effects are clean and ex- 
pressive, with full-voiced characters 
lending a great deal to the atmos- 
phere, as in many games of this type, 
the storyline and dialogue are flat and 
amateurish. Your incentive for advance- 
ment — a furtive peak beneath the ar- 
mor of the tough-talking, pouting, scan- 
tily clad Robo Babes — simply isn't 
enough to justify the effort. Metal & 
Lace succeeds in spicing up a rather 
well-worn genre, although its amend- 
ments are merely cosmetic. 


MegaTech Software 

(800) 258-6342 


Circle Reader Service Number 448 

CANON IX-40 15 

Canon has introduced the perfect desk- 
top flatbed scanner for the desktop 
publisher and home user, the tX-4015. 
And lest you think $1,175 is steep for 
a scanner, take a moment to consider 
its features. It can scan 24-bit color at 
400 x 800 dpi and monochrome at 
1200 dpi (this requires a lot of compli- 
cated setup in the included OFOTO 
scanning software). You can also scan 
images in 256 levels of gray. 

Kids 7 Computer Book 

Includes six shareware programs for 
kids on one 3-1/2 high-density disk, "A 
Parents' Guide to Kids and Computer," 
and "An Overview of Children's 
Software." On the disk: ABC's, Brix, 
Dotso, Math Rescue, The Mice Men, 
and Word Rescue. 

To order your copy send $18.95 plus $2.50 for shipping 
and handling (U.S. , $4 to Canada and $6 other) to 
COMPUTE Books, c/o CCC. 2500 McClellan Ave. 
Pennsauken, NJ 08109. (Residents of NC, NJ, and NY 
please add appropriate tax; Canadian orders add 7% 
goods and services Tax.) All orders must be paid in U.S. 
funds drawn on a U.S. bank. Orders will be shipped via 
UPS Ground Service. Offer good while supplies last. 

Disk requires an IBM or compatible PC, 286 or higher, at 
least 51 2K RAM, MS-DOS 3.2 or higher, hard disk, one high- 
density 3.5-inch floppy drive, and VGA or SVGA graphics. 


,1 mw& 

Store your issues of COMPUTE in our 
new Custom Bound Library Cases made 
of blue simulated leather embossed with 

a white COMPUTE logo on the spine. 
It's built to last, and it will keep 12 issues 
in mint condition indefinitely. Each case 
has a gold transfer for recording the date. 
Send your check or money order ($8.95 

each, 3 for $24.95, 6 for $45.95) 

postpaid USA orders only. Foreign orders 

add $1 .50 additional for postage and 

handling per case. 

TO: COMPUTE Magazine 

Jesse Jones Industries 

499 E. Erie Ave., Phila., PA 19134 


(orders over $15) 
CALL TOLL FREE: 1-800-825-6690. 

Or mail your order, clearly showing 

your account number and signature. 

PA. residents add 7% sales tax. 



Advertisers' Index 

Reader Service Number/Advertiser 

Page Reader Service Number/Advertiser 

Page Reader Service Number/Advertiser 












Access Software 46,47 231 

Advanced Gravis IBC 257 

AIVR Corporation 123 178 

AlphaSport Software 35 

AlphaSport Software 21 237 

American Network 120 241 

American Power Conversion 25 136 

Amtex Software 97 110 

Amtex Software 99 176 

America OnLine 65i 

At-Home Professionals 117 144 

Automap Inc 31 233 

Bare Bones Software 118 191 

Best Personalized Books 116 255 

Blue Valley Software 119 

Bon-Vue Enterprises 122 

CH Products 66 

CompSult 118 117 

Comptons NewMedia 5 168 

Computer Business Services 117 221 

Computer Friends 120 

Computer Gallery 118 

Comtrad 101,107 

Creative Labs 3 271 

D & K Enterprises, Inc 117 

Delphi Internet Services 50 138 

DemoSource 119 127 

DemoSource 115 129 

Disks O'Plenty 120 212 

DOMARK 85 136 

Fantazia Concepts 115 

Free Spirit 104 

Function One 119 

GEnie 33 116 

Heme Data Systems Ltd 120 135 

ID Software 73 109 

Interplay 89 132 

Interplay 43 108 

J & H Services, Inc 122 210 

Jackson Marking Products Co. Inc 116 

Knowledge Media, Inc 120 

LACE 122 

Lawrence Research Group, Inc 108 

Lucas Arts Entertainment 45 

Lucas Arts Entertainment 93 

Media Graphics International, Inc 115 

MedstarUSA 118 

Merit Software 53 

Microsoft 36,37 

Midwest Software 115 

National Claims Service 117 

Needham's Electronic Inc 119 

New World Computing 59 

NRI/McGraw Hill 41 

NRI/McGraw Hill 81 

Oldsmobile IFC,1 

Origin 49 

Parsons Technology 19 

PC Enterprises 116 

Penthouse Modem 121 

Penthouse OnLine 122 

Personal Image System 118 

Quadra 71 

Quorum 111 

Ramco Computer Supplies 120 

REG Publishing 123 

Rhotech Labs 120 

SafeSott Systems Inc 120 

ScanMaster 115 

School of Computer Training 116 

School of Pc Repair 116 

Serif PagePlus 7 

SeXXy Software 122 

Sierra OnLine BC 

Smart Luck Software 120 

Specialty Merchandise Corporation/SMC 116 

Software Sorcery 11 

Software Support International 121 

141 Software Toolworks 13 

Thoughtware 65 

142 Thrustmaster 44 

149 TM Publishing 123 

112 U.S. Robotics 9 

243 Uni-Rom 122 

140 Vertigo Active Books 29 

146 Virgin Games 95 

Warner Music Enterprises 17i 

172 Wedgwood Rental 119 

Windows OnLine 118 

WOL/lnternational Correspondence School 57 

Classifieds 126,127 

Product Mart 116,117,118,119120,121,123, 

Windows Mart 115 


. . . 61,109,112,114,125 

COMPUTE Library Case .... 
COMPUTE PC Power Disk . . 
COMPUTE SharePak Disk 



.......... 5511? 


Cover: Mark Wagoner; page 4: Mark Wagon- 
er; page 14: Mark Wagoner; page 22: Mark 
Wagoner; page 23: Mark Wagoner; pages 
38-39: © 1994 Greg Lafever/Scott Hull As- 
sociates; page 67: Rob Schuster; page 68: 
Rob Schuster; page 70: Rob Schuster; 
page 72: Rob Schuster; page 74: Rob Schust- 
er; page 76: Rob Schuster; page 78: Mark 
Wagoner; page 80: Michael Simpson/FPG; 
page 82: Mark Wagoner; page 86: Mark Wag- 
oner; page 90: Cary Henrie/SIS. 





COMPUTE offers two different disk products for 
PC readers: the SharePak disk and PC Disk. 
SharePak is monthly and has a subscription 
price of $59.95 for 574-inch disks and $64.95 for 
372-inch disks. A subscription to SharePak 
does not include a subscription to the maga- 
zine. PC Disk appears in odd-numbered 
months and has a subscription price of $49.95, 
which includes a subscription to COMPUTE. You 
can subscribe to either disk or to both, but a 
subscription to one does not include a subscrip- 
tion to the other. 





Includes thousands of hints and 
tips and more than 300 game 
snapshots, digitized images, and 
maps. 500+ pages. 

Alone in the Dark 


Conquests of the Longbow 

The Dagger of Amort Ra 

Dark Seed 


irk the Unready 

Freddy Pharkos 

Gobliins 2 
Heart of China 


Indiana Jones 

King's Quest V 

King's Quest VI 

Leather Goddesses of Phobos 2 

The Legend of Kyrandia 

Leisure Suit Larry V 

Les Man ley in: Lost in L.A. 

The Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes 

Lost Secret of the Rainforest 

Martian Memorandum 

Mixed- Up Fairy Tales 

Monkey Island 2 

Police Quest 3 

The Propehcy 

Quest for Glory III 

Rex Nebular 

Ring world 

Rise of the Dragon 

The 7th Guest 

Space Quest IV 

Space Quest V 

Spell casting 301 

Star Trek 

Ultima Underworld 

Ultima Underworld 2 

Willy Beamish 

To order your copy send $2 1 .95 plus $2.50 for ship- 
ping and handling [U.S., $4 to Canada and $6 oth- 
er) to COMPUTE Books, c/o CCC, 2500 McClellan 
Ave. Pennsauken, NJ 08109. (Residents of NC, NJ, 
ond NY pleose add appropriote tox; Conadian or- 
ders add 7% goods and services Tax.) All orders 
must be paid in U.S. funds drawn on a U.S. bank. 
Orders will be shipped via UPS Ground Service. 
Offer good while supplies last, 


The scanner ships with an OEM ver- 
sion of OFOTO, but I didn't enjoy using 
this product; instead, I used Corel PHO- 
TO-PAINT! for most of my work. 

Early on, I had trouble getting the 
scanner to operate, so I took the oppor- 
tunity to check out the wizards at Can- 
on. Canon technical support was not 
up to its usual snuff. It turned out that 
the scanner wouldn't work because the 
SCSI terminator wasn't installed, but 
tech support never suggested this so- 
lution (I found it in the troubleshooting 
section of the manual). Since the print- 
er comes with a very tiny SCSI board 
(about two-thirds the size of a normal 
half-size board), I asked whether the 
board could be used to drive daisy- 
chained SCSI devices. Canon stated 
that the board had never been tested 
with other SCSI devices. 

I scanned a number of pictures and 
found the colors to be true. An 800 x 
400, 24-bit scan of a full-page graphic 
took a total of about 13 minutes: a little 
more than 8 minutes for the scan itself, 
then a little more than 5 minutes for the 
automatic processes in OFOTO to take 
place, along with straightening and crop- 
ping the image. Lower-resolution scans 
and scans that don't make use of auto- 
matic features go much faster. 

This isn't a review of TextBridge (an 
OCR product from Xerox), but since I 
had it nearby, I installed it and used it 
with the scanner as well. I can report 
that TextBridge is a very good OCR (it 
lists for only $99). The great thing 
about the TWAIN standard supported 
by the Canon scanner is that it works 
with nearly all modern scanner-related 
software and hardware, including 
TextBridge. TextBridge did an excel- 
lent job, particularly with high-resolu- 
tion scans (though they take longer). 
TextBridge can be installed as an OLE 
server to your word processor so the 
scanned text is automatically trans- 
ferred to the currently open document. 

The IX-4015 scanner is barely larg- 
er than its scanning area — 11 1 A x 
15 15 /i6 x 3 1 /8 inches. Installation was 
very simple (just don't forget to install 
the SCSI terminator). Canon claims its 
xenon-tube light source is more relia- 
ble and distributes light and color 
more evenly than fluorescent lights 
used in small, inexpensive scanners. A 
20-sheet document feeder for the IX- 
4015 is available for $349. 


Canon Computer Systems 



Circle Reader Service Number 449 






Flying On Insfr with Flight Simulator 

REG. 14.95 SALE 7.50 
Quick & Easy Guide to 123 

REG. 14.95 SALE 7.50 
Learning to Fly with Flight Simulator 

REG. 14.95 SALE 7,50 
Flight Simulator Odyssey 

REG. 14.95 SALE 7.50 
Complete SuperCard Handbook 

REG. M.95 SALE 12.00 
Exec Guide to LAN 

REG. 18.95 SALE 10.00 
Off. Bk of Leasure Suit Larry, 2nd ed. 

REG. 12.95 SAII5.00 
Hints, Maps, Sol. to Comp Adv. Games 

REG. 16.95 SALE 8.00 
Guide to Nintendo Games 

REG. 9.95 SALE 4.00 
Official Book of Ultima, first ed. 

REG. 14.95 SALE 7.00 
Nintendo Secrets 

REG. 8.95 SALE 4.00 
Off. Gd. to Jack Nicklus Comp Golf 

REG. 12.95 SALE 6.0* 
Off. Bk of Roger Wilco, first ed. 

REG. 14.95 SALE 7.00 
C! Guide to Sega Genesis 

REG. 9.95 SALE 4.00 
Conquering Zelda, first ed. 

REG. 7.95 SALE 3.00 
Big Books of PC Sports 

REG. 14.95 SALE 7.00 
Off. Guide to Mega Man 

REG. 7.95 SALE 3.00 
Conq. Super Mario Bros, first ed. 

REG. 7.95 SALE 3.00 
Guide to Nint. Adv. Games 

REG. 7.95 SALE 3.00 

Nintendo Tips & Tricks, V.l 

REG. 9.95 SALE 4.00 
Big Book of Nintendo Games 

REG. 16.95 SALE 6.00 

To order send the total amount due plus S2.50 for shipping 
and handling (U S., S4 to Canada and $6 other) to COM- 
PUTE Bocks, c/o CCC, 2500 McCfellan Ave. Pennsauken, 
NJ 08109 (Residents of NC, NJ, and NY please add ap- 
propriate tax; Canadian orders add 7% Goods and Servic- 
es Tax.) VISA and Mastercard accepted: be sure to include 
you' account number, expiration date, and signature. All or- 
ders must be paid in U.S. funds drawn on a U.S. bank. FAX 
credit card orders accepted at 910-275-9837. Orders will be 
shipped via UPS Ground Service Offer good only while sup- 
plies last and expires on November 30, 1994. 


Publisher's Paradise Professional CD-ROM 

High-Quality Clip Art and Fonts for Documents That Get Noticed 


Publishers Panelist 



Order Now! 

i( hides over $00 ni/or sharp True 
Type fonts and over .'1")00 professional quality dip an images. The 
comprehensive font (ollrtiion features typefaces for any publication, from 
• Ik* classic Clearly Roman and I'lankiini, in the whimsical KainKain and 
Snowtojj Caps. There are also several "■dingbat* fonis for svinhols, Imllcis 
and story hoard < hata< leis. These True Type fonts can he used widi anv 
Windows 3. 1 program. 

You'll also find over .">() volumes of lhgh-(]ualiiy clip an images, 
including husiuess, children, nafuie, spottS, food, portraits, holidays, 
military, religion, borders, envirnnmeiual, seasonal and more, l^se ihese 
images in any program dial supports PCX, TIKI-, EPS, (XiM or \VM1 ; file 

Media Graphics In tern at tonal 

8175-A Sheridan Blvd #355 

Arvada, CO H0003 

(303) 427-8808 

Here's a few fonts 



W f Basset 



Boston Blk 

I Cassia 


^ *:>?; COMI* 

U M i BflSE«fl 

Circle Reader Service Number 136 

6000 FONTS 

2500 TrueType, 2500 Type 1 
&& 1000 Geoworks Format 

*CD-ROM 'Not Shareware *AII Original 
"Unlocked *No Duplicates 'Categorized 
'Sample Book 'Highest Quality Available 

All this for only $49.99* 

* 3000 FONTS 

1000 In Each Format 

A Order today for Only $29.99*j 

^**j^*Does not include shipping 
These collections were created for those 
i&wtio are tired of the "same old fonts'^H, 
Disk sets also available 

Sounds too good to be true??? 
*Ask for free font sample listing** 

Or try "Icons, Wallpaper and More 
for Windows" for only: $29.99 

Fantazia Concepts, Inc. 
35143 Vine Street Eastlake, OH 44095 
800-951-0877 or 216-951-5666 Voice 
21 6-951 -9241 Fax- For faster service 

Circle Reader Service Number 134 

New FM Pro saves you from 
eight-character filenames! 

FM Pro allows you to add a description 
like "Windows Conference - May 8 - first 
meeting" to a file like WCNFMY81 .XLS. 
These descriptions reduce the time you 
spend opening and searching for files. 
Descriptions can be up to 254 char- 
acters. FM Pro also displays and prints 
file listings with descriptions; allows you 
to go to any directory in one click; and will 
quickly locate files for you. 

Only $39.95 + $3 S/H. Requires 
Windows. Money-back guarantee. Order 
FM Pro now by calling 1-800-241-5934 

Midwest Software 
50th and Woodland, Dept. C8 
P.O. Box 221 16 
Des Moines, IA 50325 




For ad specifications or more information call 

Lucille Dennis (707) 451-8209 Fax (707) 451-4169 

They'll never 

home based! 

Circle Reader Service Number 144 



Introducing SuiteTalker, our revolutionary mini 
voicemail system for MS-Windows. Designed 
just for small and home-based offices, our soft- 
ware accepts mailorders, sends faxes or records 
messages from only M 195. Even when you're 
working from a garage, you'll sound like a 
Fortune 500. Ask about our *25 Opportunity 
Toolkit loaded with a variety of voice ventures! 

Try our 24 hr demo! Record your voice! Call: 


You'll get a *5 rebate on your long distance call 
upon purchase. For live sales support, call 800 
283-4759. All major credit cards accepted. 




The Voice Application Superstore 
• •••••••••• 

8345 RtMdi 64 Sl« 202 Northrirfg* CA 01324 USA 


Your Favorite Photo 

Whatever picture YOU choose 

Customize your 
computer with: 


ScanMaster will 
scan photo's or 

Personalize Windows Wallpaper, Home or 


BE FIRST: Purchase a State-Of-The-Art image 

for your office computer. 

All originals will be returned promptly. 



Send check or money order (and photos) to: 

P.O. Box 6225, Clearwater, FL 34618-9998 

$19.95 plus $2.00 for handling 

(50% off extra scans) 
Windows 3.0 or higher required 

Circle Reader Service Number 133 

Circle Reader Service Number 131 


Make Money With A Computer 

Own a lifetime licence for a patent to make a 
product that will please adults, delight and educate 
children, and return high profits on a minimal 
investment. Thar'* the sure-fire success formula that Best 
Personalized Books, Inc. offers to distributors who are 
building strong, easy to run, highly profitable businesses. 

As the leader in the industry Best Personalted Boob, Inc. is 
partners with such high profile companies as Walt Disney 
for their all time favorite Disney characters, Mattel Toys 
for Barbie, Warner Brothers for Bugs Bunny and the 
Looney Tunes and the National Football Usgue fur rhe 
Super Bov/I and NFL teams and logos. 

By teaming up with these world renown companies, 
Best Personalued Books, Inc makes it foible CO prQ&joe 
products with name recognition that almost sell themselves. 

Personalized books are instant favorite* because the 
child is the star of each story. An extensive array of titles 
appeals to a wide range of ages and tastes and includes 
well-written stories on religious and ethnic themes that 
reinlbfl t family values. 

No computer experience is nece^.iry to create a 
personalized rxx>k. With Best's strong marketing program, 
you'll find selling options are limitless. You can run a 
profirable mail order business from home, set up on 
location at malls, craft fairs and flea markets, or team- up 
widi fund-raisin** groups to promote 'literacy. 

Strong dealer support is a priority. To help \o\i make 
even bigger profits, Best otters other personalized products 
including clocks audio cassette tapes birth announcements, 
calendars and stattnncrv for teens and adults 


Best Personalized Books. Inc. _SUS t * , T?. 

Best Pfaia • 4901 Airbom • Dallas, TX 75948 FREE OOOK and Kit 

Aladdin, Mickey Mouse, NFL Super Bowl, NFL Teams and Logos, Daffy Duck, Yosemite Sam, 
Sylvester, Tweety, Porky Pig, Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto, Winnie the Pooh, Barbie, Bugs 
Bunny and The Looney Tunes are trademarked properties. The president of Best Personalized 
Books, Inc. owns US Patent 5,213,461 to produce personalized books with a computer. 

. Be a computer . 
repair expert! 

Prnfessinnal-lpvpl homo ~^^^l^k. 

Professional-level home 
study teaches you PC re- 
pairs, troubleshooting, 
upgrading, installation, 
and servicing. 

Increase your value as 
an employee or open your 
own business. No high- 
tech knowledge, no ex- 
pensive instruments. 
Free career literature. 


. Phone C 

^ Learn . 


I The School of PC Repair I 

■ 6065 Rosewell Road ■ 

■ Dept. JJJ68002, Atlanta, GA 30328 I 

Home study. 
Learn the per- 
sonal compu- 
ter for a better 
career and an 
easier home 
life. Exciting, 
easy to follow. 
Free booklet. 

i Call 800-223 4542 
! The School of 
i Computer Training 

6065 Rosewell Road 
Dept. KKJ68002, Atlanta, GA 30328 


XT, AT, & 

Tandy users 

Not everyone needs the fastest 
computer money can buy. Run Lotus 
1-2-3, WordPerfect, dBase, and most 
other software without buying a new 
computer! We specialize in hardware 
products that allow older computers to 
run the latest software. 

Call for information and free catalog! 

You don't have to buy a new 

Computer to run the Latest 

Software I 

(800) 922-7257 


2400 Belmar Blvd. 
PO Box 292 
Belmar, NJ 07719 

Computer Upgrade Since l f )H4 

pc Harass 

Circle Reader Service Number 221 









CALL (800) 345-4SMC 


SMC, 9401 De Soto Ave., 

Dept., 879-68 
Cholswortb, CA 91311 

Circle Reader Service Number 132 


y s for your own use or o 
profitable sideline business 

Self-Inking and traditional 

knob handle stamps can 

be made for less tnan $1. 

Retail prices will start in 

the $10+ range. 

Informational signs, nameplates, 

control panels, name badges, 

and hundreds of other signage 

items can be made for pennies 

per square inch. 

Complete systems are less than $2,000 


Brownsville Rd. ( D-200, Ml Vernon, IL 62864 
Phone: 800-STAMPCALL Fax: 800-STAMPFAX 

Circle Reader Service Number 231 

Earn Money at Home 
with a Computer 

Electronic Claims Processing 

''One of the W Hottest Businesses for 1994" 
— Entrepreneur Magazine Catalog 

A New High Income, Home-based 
Business— Processing Health Claims 

National Claims Service offers the most 

complete package available, including ;i 
2 day training seminar, video training 
courses, software 'M\l\ a professional start- 
up package. Previous computer or billing 
experience are not required. Electronic 
Claims Processing has excellent income 
potential, working pan or full time. 
Capital required: $3,495 to $7,995. 

For our Free Information 
Packet, Caff us Toff Free 

1-800-697-1569 ext. 250 


Circle Reader Service Number 233 

FREE 486 Computer 
Color Monitor, Printer 

You can earn $2,000 to $10,000 per month from 
your kitchen table providing needed services for 
your community. Computer Business Services 
needs individuals to run a computer from their 
home. If you purchase our software, we will give 
you a FREE 486 computer, VGA color monitor, 
120 meg hard drive and a printer. If you already 
have a computer, we will give you a discount. The 
industrial revolution is over but the service revo- 
lution is just starting. Rather than setting up 
offices all over the U.S., we are showing individu- 
als and couples how to provide our services and 
letting everyone involved in this service revolu- 
tion reap the benefits. Our way of training our new service providers and their 
success rate is the talk of the computer industry. Call or write for a free 3 hour 
cassette tape and color literature and find out how easy it can be for you to 
earn money in your spare time and help your community. Begin part-time and 
still retain the security of your present position. 

Call toll-free: 

1^800^343^8014, ext. 303 

(in Indiana: 317^758-4415) Fax to: (317) 758-5827 Or Write: 
Computer Business Services, Inc., CBSI Plaza, Ste. 303, Sheridan, IN 46069 

FREE CBSI 486 Computer 


1/eut'%i$6 7>n*4U 

• With our process and a computer you can instantly produce the highest 
quality personalized children's books and stationery on the market 

• All books are hardbound with full color illustrations and laser quality 
printing. Ideally suited for home based business, malls, department 
stores, fairs or mail order. 

• Very simple to operate and highly profitable. 

• Only a limited number of dealerships available. 

For a complete inform alio n packet tall today. 

SUITE I0l • DIPT 27 - CARR0LLT0N, TEXAS 75006 



is a special adver- 
tising section de- 
signed to benefit 
you, the PC direct 
marketer, by let- 
ting you advertise 
directly to the read- 
ers that buy. 





Lucille Dennis 



Call now to 

your space! 


Earn up to $25,000 a year 
typing medical histories! 

No previous experience needed . We show you 
how to prepare m edical histories for doctors, 
hospitals, clinics. No com- 
muting, no selling... work the 
hours you choose. Call or 
write for free facts about 
what could be the greatest 
job opportunity of your life 
because the medical pro- 
fession needs skilled 
j transcriptionists. 
Be ready to work in just 4 months 
So if you can type, or are willing to learn, 
our experts can train you at home to work at 
home doing medical transcriptions from 
audio cassettes dictated by doctors. Nation- 
wide job placement assistance. Get free facts! 
No cost or obligation! 

Call Toil-Free or Mail Coupon Today. 

At-Home Professions 
'2001 Lowe Street 
I Dept. MCM74 
I Fort Collins, CO 80525 



I YES! Rush me free facts on how I can train at home 
I to work at home as a iMedical Transcription is t 


i Name Age 


■ Address- 


- Apt— 




Who says there s no such 
thing as easy money? 

J mce so many of you requested 
information on a solid business 
opportunity, we began to investigate the 
business opportunity marketplace. One 
company that stood out from the crowd 
in so far as a clean track record of 
satisfied distributors and a unique 
product line is located in Bristol W 

The fun about this opportunity is that you 
can operate it from the convenience of 
your own home. Some distributors 
operate the business just a few hours a 
month while others are operating full 
time. However, they all have one thing in 
common, and that is the ease in which 
sales are made because of the products 
broad appeal. 

Consumers everywhere realize the need 
for sensible products and/or services. 
Distributors profit by filling those needs. 
What really impressed us was the fact 
they only allow 2 active distributors in 
each telephone area code, so as not to 
create competition between distributors. 
When dealing with this company you 
will get the straight facts with no 
runaround If you re currently in search 
of a Golden opportunity don't let this one 
pass you by. The minimum investment is 
only $299 plus SSH 

Even if you have never sold anything 
before, or don't like sales, you could be a 
great success from the start because the 
services are so well accepted by the 
public. Best of all depending upon which 
distributorship package you choose you 
will receive TV commercials, stand up 
displays, color brochures, radio 
commercials and a Confidential Stategies 
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Bussir^ss Advisory Council 
Volume No. 34214-A 





Price Breakthrough! 


7th Guest 

C.HAO.S. Continuum $21 

Chessmaster 4000 $19 

Daemonsgate $29 

Day of the Tentacle $29 

Dune $24 

Dragon's Lair $45 

F-1S Strike Eagle Ml $19 

Fate of Atlantis (Ind Jonas) . $29 

Gabriel Knight 



Iron Helix 


Kings Quest V 

Kings Quest VI 

Legend of Kyrandia 1 

Legend of Kyrandia 2 

Links Golf Collection 


Mad DogMcCree 

Magic Death 


Mario is Missing (Deluxe) 

Mega Race 


Rebel Assault $45 

Return to Zork $25 

Sam 4 Max Hit the Road .... $44 

Secret of Monkey Island $19 

Secret Weapons of the Luft $ 19 

.. S29 

















Space Quest IV . 

Star Wars Chess 


Terminator Rampage 

Who Killed Sam Rupert .. 
Who Shot Johnny Rock .. 

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Author Teacher's Trouble ... $21 
Fatty Bear's Bday Surprise . $19 

Fatty Bear's Fun Pack $17 

Gus Goes to Cybertown $21 

Jones in the Fast Lane $16 

Just Grandma and Me $23 

Macmillan Diet lor Children $24 
Mixed Up Mother Goose .... $15 

New Kid on the Block $35 

Putt-Putt's Fun Pack $19 

Putt-Putt Goes to lha Moon $21 
Put-Putt Joins the Parade ... $21 

Tortise & the Hare $35 

Willie Beamish $17 


Animels (San Diego Zoo) ... $19 
Contpton's Interective End . $39 
Dictionary of Living World ... $29 
Family Doctor-3rd addilion . $21 
Grolier's Mult Encyclop 6 $35 
Guiness Disc or Records ... $21 
Mammals - National Geo .... $24 
Mavis Teaches Typing 2.0 ., $19 
Mayo Clinic Family Health .. $21 

Microsoft Bookshelf $34 

Microsoft Encarta $59 

MPCWizard2 $16 

National Parks ot America .. $21 

Oceans Below $19 

Parenting $21 

Phone Disc USA - Residen $59 

Shareware Trio (3 CD's) $19 

Space Shuttle $21 

UFO $21 

U.S Alias (4,0) $17 

U.S. History $21 

World Atlas (4.0) $17 

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Software utility that allows for 
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Game Cartridge Emulator 

Connects your PC to 16 bit game machines! 
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16 Meg bits RAM system -$ 245.00 
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Each system includes one PC "add-on" 
card, one 16 bit game machine adaptor, 
cables, software, and Users Manual. 
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P.O. Box 800727, Dallas, TX 75380 
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Hardware does not include any proprietary data on 
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Circle Reader Service Number 225 

Circle Reader Service Number 129 


Your Reliable Source of IBM/PC CD-ROM Software At Rock-Bottom Prices! 


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F-117A Stealth Fighter $26.95 

Games 1994 $23.95 

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King's Quest 5 $17.95 

King's Quest 6 $22.95 

Legend of Kyrandia $21.95 

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MVP's Game Jamboree $9.95 

Myst $49.95 

Secret Monkey Island $15.95 

Secret Weapons Luftwaffe $15.95 

Sirius 5 Foot 10 Pack $33.95 

Space Quest 4 $17.95 

Star Wars/Rebel Universe $46.95 

Stellar 7 $20.95 

Tornado $26.95 

Who Shot Johnny Reck $39.95 

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Family Zoo 

Fatty Bear's Fun Pack 

Just Grandma and Me 

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Complete Bookshop 

Complete Legal Guide 

Computer Reference Library . 

Cookbook Heaven 

Dictionaries & Languages 

Family Doctor 


Guinness Records 1993 

Hacker Chronicles 

Mayo Clinic 

Microsoft Bookshelf 

Sci-Fi Fantasy 

Time Almanac / 1990 

Total Baseball 1993 

World of Trains 






Corel Draw 3.0 $49.95 

Gifs Galore $18.95 

Home Designer $29.95 

Publishers Paradise Pro $29.95 

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Encyclopedia of Sound v 1 or v2 .... $9.95 
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Precision Mapping $69.95 

World Traveller $9.95 


CICA Microsoft Windows $13.95 

Windows 1994 $23,95 

Windows Master $17.95 

Winplatinum $12.95 


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Bibles & Religion $9.95 

Holy Bible & Christian SW .... $16.95 


CD Caddies 

Ham Radio 

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Midi Music Shop for Windows 

Multimedia Mania 

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Download the HOTTEST & SEXIEST Images 
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Copies of articles from 
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A Bell & Howell Company 
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Circle Reader Service Number 116 



Discussions on Alternate Lifestyles. 

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101 Sex Positions S29 Insatiable $25 

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Ancient books 

from one of 

the world's oldest 

libraries; Tire 

Vatican library 

will soon be 

open to the world— 

via the Internet. 

(continued from page 128) 
the Vatican Library, IBM, and 
the Pontifical Catholic Univer- 
sity of Rio de Janeiro are work- 
ing together to make selected 
works electronically accessi- 
ble worldwide. 

A pilot project has been 
launched to convert the li- 
brary's pre-1985 catalog of 
nearly 2 million cards into an 
electronic database, as well 
as to create a digital image 
database— along with the 
documents — enhancing the 
scanned images along the 
way. The project should 
prove invaluable in furthering 
the acceptability of digital stor- 
age as a means of preserving 
and distributing information in 
rare books. 

The library's card catalog 
should be available to In- 
ternet users late next year. 

Virtual College 

Thinking about continuing 
your education but dreading 
the hassles of night school? If 
you're in the New York area, 
you may be able to take class- 
es from home this fall. 

For the first time, the Infor- 
mation Technologies Institute 
of New York University's 
School of Continuing Educa- 
tion (SCE) will offer higher ed- 
ucation via interactive video 
to the home computer. The 
SCE Virtual College program 
will use high-speed ISDN 


phone lines to deliver the vid- 
eo courses to students. The 
curriculum is being devel- 
oped online by faculty locat- 
ed in such widely scattered 
places as California and Wash- 
ington, DC. 

Thanks to grants totaling 
over $400,000 from the Alfred 
P. Sloan Foundation, the pro- 
gram promises to deliver vis- 
ual and hands-on instruction 
which will make it possible to 
fulfill the requirements for a 16- 
credit Advanced Professional 
Certificate in Information Tech- 
nology. Lotus Notes will be 
used for telecourse delivery. Al- 
though students will be work- 
ing independently, computer 
conferencing, E-mail, and 
voice mail with faculty and oth- 
er students will be provided. 

If you would like to receive 
further information, contact 
New York University, School 
of Continuing Education, 50 
West Fourth Street, Room 
326, New York, New York 
10012-1165; (212)998-7080. 

Educational Teamwork 

The leading independent pub- 
lisher of educational software, 
Davidson & Associates, has 
joined forces with Paramount 
Publishing to mount a tour de 
force on the educational soft- 
ware front. Davidson will devel- 
op curriculum-based software 
for Paramount, which is invest- 
ing $50 million in hopes of cash- 
ing in on the $1 billion educa- 
tional multimedia market. 
These products, carrying the 
Paramount name, will be 
aimed at educational markets. 
Under a Simon & Schuster/ 
Davidson imprint, the two com- 
panies also plan to create 
and publish a range of con- 
sumer multimedia products, 
tapping into Paramount's li- 
brary of over 300,000 titles. 
The first titles you can expect 
to see are multimedia ver- 
sions of Peter Lynch's bestsell- 
er Beating the Street; Money 
Doesn't Grow on Trees, Neale 

S. Godfrey's best-selling chil- 
dren's guide to managing mon- 
ey; and Chicka Chicka Boom 
Boom, featuring the voice of 
Ray Charles. Paramount, 
which has been digitizing its 
books since 1991, expects to 
have 90 percent of its publica- 
tions ready to be multimedia 
products by 1996. 

To find out more, contact 
Paramount Publishing, 1230 
Avenue of the Americas, New 
York, New York 10020. 

Stick It to 'Em 

Whether first impressions are 
accurate or not, making a 
good one can often narrow 
the competition in your favor. 
And in business matters, the 
label on your envelope is an 
eye-catcher. CoStar now of- 
fers the XL series of label print- 
ers, which provide laser-qual- 
ity resolution, thanks to a 203- 
dpi thermal printhead. The La- 
belWriter XL and XL Plus are 
the first printers to come with 
built-in network support for 
DOS and Windows. Software 
included in each version al- 
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same label, as well as print la- 
bels without interfering with 
your other programs. Both 
printers can handle a variety 
of label sizes. The LabelWriter 
XL Plus can even print 3Vfe* 
inch disk and shipping labels. 
To find out more, contact Co- 
Star, 100 Field Point Road, 
Greenwich, Connecticut 06830- 
6406; (203) 661-9700, (203) 
661-1540 (fax). 

Companies, publicists, or pub- 
lic relations firms with prod- 
ucts or services of interest suit- 
able for "News & Notes" 
should send information along 
with a color slide or colfor trans- 
parency to News & Notes, At- 
tention: Byron Poole, COM- 
PUTE, 324 West Wendover Av- 
enue, Suite 200, Greensboro, 
North Carolina 27408. n 



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FREE LIST. Specify 64/128, Amiga or IBM. Cenisiblc 
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For IBM-Compatibles. 48 Adult Shareware 
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Career-level home study. 
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FKEK. Children's educational software 

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^a^om'puter" 1 
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Circle Reader Service Number 335 



Byron Poole 

Love can be 

funny. Comedy 


Dating & Mating Is 

Its latest 

multimedia comic 


Love Hurts 

It is better to have loved and 
laughed than never to have 
laughed at all. At least that's 
the way Comedy Central 
sees it. The second multime- 
dia spin-off from the all-come- 
dy network's popular "Short At- 
tention Span Theater" takes a 
humorous swipe at love — be- 
ing in it, being out of it, and be- 
ing smothered by it. 

For $49.99, Dating & Mat- 
ing lets you pick from 50 of to- 
day's hottest comedians and 
19 joke categories to find the 
comedy routines that best 
suit your mood. The video 

clips you like the most can be 
loaded into your existing 
screen saver to appear when- 
ever your computer is idle. To 
find out more about Dating 
and Mating, contact Time 
Warner Interactive, 2210 
West Olive Avenue, Burbank, 
California 91506; (800) 482- 
3766, (818) 955-9999, (818) 
955-6499 (fax). 

Link to the Real World 

For the 1.25 million U.S. high- 
school students who bypass 
college and head directly for 
the work force, a helping 
hand is near. WORKLINK, a 
computer-based system con- 
necting high schools to local 
businesses, is getting a major 
push via a recent partnership 
agreement between the Edu- 
cational Testing Service (ETS) 

and the National Association 
of Secondary School Princi- 
pals (NASSP), which would 
like to make WORKLINK avail- 
able at all public and private 
schools nationwide. Students 
are encouraged to develop a 
WORKLINK record on a volun- 
tary basis It can include infor- 
mation such as an expanded 
student transcript, ratings of 
work habits, and results from 
various job-specific skill as- 
sessments. These records 
can then be reviewed by po- 
tential employers recruited in- 
to the program. 

Timothy J. Dyer, NASSP ex- 
ecutive director, says that 
WORKLINK should help busi- 
nesses, which are often lack- 
ing the most relevant informa- 
tion on a student's workplace 
skills — namely, attendance, 
punctuality, and motivation. 
Software and materials for 
WORKLINK are available for 
high schools and business or- 
ganizations through the 
NASSP; call (800) 253-7746 
for more information. 

Reaching the Stars 

You've seen their addresses 
floating around the net, but 
now the E-mail addresses of 
famous people have been 
compiled in a book. E-Mail 
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mous is 150 pages of ac- 
cess to the stars. The author, 
Seth Godin, who coauthored 
Internet White Pages, hopes 
it will arouse fruitful ex- 
change among computer us- 
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The nearly 1000 entries in- 
clude politicians, program- 
mers, authors, and academ- 
ics. Among them you'll find 
the likes of Ross Perot, Bill 
Gates, and the man who pro- 
vides the voice of Barney. 
The book, published by Ad- 
dison-Wesley, is organized 
by vocation and category, 
and each entry has a brief 
background description. And 
all this costs only $7.95. 

Empower Windows 

WinWear, the maker of the on- 
ly application to add produc- 
tivity-building enhancements 
to the Windows Program Man- 
ager, has introduced a new 
version of its WindowMagic. 
WindowMagic 3.0, like its pred- 
ecessor, expands the abilities 
of Program Manager by ena- 

bling the user to create push- 
button toolbars for instant ap- 
plication launches and to 
drag and drop icons in mini- 
mized groups for later view- 
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right mouse button. 

New features for Window- 
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thresholds, and a one-button 
task manager for launching an 
application from anywhere. Win- 
dowMagic's list price is 
$89.95. Upgrades are availa- 
ble for $25.00 plus shipping 
and handling. 

Contact WinWear, 14150 
NE 20th Street, Suite 346, Bel- 
levue, Washington 98007; 
(800) 803-9358, (206) 635- 
0908, (206) 635-0823 (fax). 

Ancient Knowledge 

Where can you browse such 
unique works of literature as 
the four oldest surviving man- 
uscripts of Virgil's poems and 
a lavishly illustrated copy of 
Dante's Divine Comedy? No- 
where. Unless you are 1 of 
2000 scholars annually is- 
sued a reader's card to the 
Vatican Library, these books 
are beyond your reach. But 
(continued on page 124) 


like Nothing You Have Ever Experienced Before" 

G . Russell President 

See it-Fly it-Fire ft 

It looks more like it belongs on the weapons 
control panel of a kungon battlecruiser than 
on your computer desk." 

COMPUTER (June '94} Denny Atkin 


Flight & Weapon Control System 

▼ 24 programmable buttons 

▼ Analog or digital rudder and throttle control 

▼ Jet STYLE joystick handle for aileron and elevator controls 

▼ Graphical user interface software 

▼ Includes custom control settings for the most popular flight simulators 

▼ Compatible with virtually all flight programs 

Available for IBM PC or compatible computers 

For Additional information call: 
Advanced Advanced Gravis Computer Technology Ltd. 
1790 Midway Lane, Belungham, WA 98226 
Tel: 604 431 5020 or Fax: 604 431 51 55 

Circle Reader Service Number 128 


F R 


E R 





W R 


G ! 



It's more addicting than ever. With all new graphics and sound effects, plus 150 new Levels of 
non-stop action. Play alone or head-to-head. Use the lightning-fast Game Generator to create 
torturous worlds of your own. See your retailer or call 1-800-757-7707 (just say: "gimme, gimme"). 

Circle Reader Service Number 135 

Available for: DOS. W.foA *t MAC, DOS CD-ROM LODE RIVSER is a rctiKcrciL itnlemiil liftntud Mcliiivtlv lo DouiUs r in-ili .-If^j. I9<H Dm^i.-^ E 


, Sierra On-I.inr Inc. All rig.1l* reserved.